The LGBTQ Center held its annual State of the Center this past weekend, capping off a year in which The Center boasted of their highest numbers yet, from HIV tests to mentoring youths.
President and Chair of the Board of The Center Ron Sylvester noted a string of statistics that have, within the past few years, lifted The Center to become one of the state’s leading LGBTQ resource centers.
“One of the things that I’m most proud of is that over the past few years,” Sylvester said, “The Center has become a respected and relevant voice for advocacy and activism locally, state-wide and nationally.”
In addition to advocating on the local and state level—from supporting Measure N to supporting AB 446, 1266, and 323—here are some of the numbers that highlighted The Center’s 2013 year:
- 1,700 HIV tests were performed, with 100 clients being serviced per month through the program’s mental health counseling arm;
- MYTE, The Center’s youth mentoring program, serves 70 to 80 unique youths each month;
- 13,000 service call were fielded from the front desk;
- volunteers donated over 7,500 hours, amounting to $173,000 in payroll equivalent;
- 25,000 clients are served per year through The Center;
- 1,500 people attended this year’s QFilms, raising over $20,000;
- 100 riders for the inaugural Long Beach AIDS Ride raised $30,000;
- revenues have increased by more than $80,000;
- and assets increased by $93,000.
“As Ron mentioned, our recent growth is unprecedented,” said Porter Gilberg, Administrative Director for The Center. “We have more staff than we’ve had in recent memory, more clients participating in our services across the board… [We] now have a one-million-dollar budget, a budget size that we have not seen since the 1990s.”
Gilberg went to emphasize, beyond The Center’s obvious economic viability—a far cry from their previous years of struggle and debt—the social and psychological importance of having a community space which harnesses opportunities for the LGBTQ community. That could, according to Gilberg, come in the form of “a referral to a gay-friendly doctor or sports team” or helping “LGBTQ immigrants seeking asylum for fear of persecution in their home countries.”
“It’s the individual connections we make with each and every person who walks through our doors that builds and sustains our LGBTQ community,” Gilberg said.