Denver, CO & Ft. Lauderdale, FL; June 24, 2016 — Often the only resource serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in a region, LGBT community centers provide vital services to more than 40,000 people each week. According to a report released today, both large and small centers reported increased revenue, for combined 2015 revenue of $176 million, and smaller centers, often operating in locations and communities that are least accepting of LGBT people, experienced a 17% increase in revenue over the course of 2014 to 2015 compared to a 6% increase for large centers.
Authored by CenterLink and the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), the 2016 LGBT Community Center Survey Report: Assessing the Capacity and Programs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Centers surveyed 143 LGBT community centers from 40 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Other report findings are summarized below.
CLIENTS & DIVERSITY
“Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center is the only LGBT community center in a 200 mile radius and we serve nearly 10,000 people a year,” said MGLCC Executive Director Will Batts. “We are truly a lifeline for LGBT people, especially the most vulnerable members of the community. Without Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center, LGBT people in West Tennessee, North Mississippi, and East Arkansas would be isolated and without crucial services and support.”
SERVICES & PROGRAMS
In many regions, local LGBT centers are the only organizations serving the LGBT community, offering a variety of much-needed resources including:
STAFFING & REVENUES
Given the critical role of LGBT community centers in areas of the country with few other resources for LGBT people, small centers in particular are in critical need of additional financial support.
“Last legislative session, we saw more than 200 bills targeting LGBT people,” said Terry Stone, CEO of CenterLink. “Community Centers like the Center for Equality in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, are often the only resource for isolated LGBT people. As a terrible bill targeting transgender people moved through the legislature, this center continued to hold monthly meetings that brought together transgender people to discuss issues that affect their day-to-day lives.”
The full report is available online at http://lgbtmap.org/2016-lgbt-community-center-survey-report and www.lgbtcenters.org.
About the Authors
CenterLink develops strong, sustainable LGBT community centers and builds a thriving center network that creates healthy, vibrant communities. Founded in 1994, CenterLink plays an important role in addressing the challenges centers face by helping them to improve their organizational and service delivery capacity, access public resources and engage their regional communities in the grassroots social justice movement. www.lgbtcenters.org.
Launched in 2006, the Movement Advancement Project is an independent, intellectual resource for the LGBT movement. MAP’s mission is to provide independent and rigorous research, insight and analysis that help speed full equality for LGBT people. Learn more at www.lgbtmap.org.