Today is LGBT Community Center Awareness Day!
For many people, LGBT community centers are critical and sometimes the only source of social, educational, and health services.
MAP and CenterLink released a new report in August showing the critical role LGBT community centers play in the lives of LGBT people and their families, serving more than 40,000 people each week and providing targeted referrals to nearly 5,500 people.
Not only do community centers provide crucial direct services, including free access to computers and programming, but community centers play a huge role in advancing policy change at the federal, state, and local levels. Nearly every community center (93%) engages in public education and advocacy with 88% of these LGBT community centers doing the difficult and important work of educating the public about issues that matter to LGBT people and their families. Half of centers (52%) offer voter registration, which is crucial to ensuring that LGBT people participate in elections that impact their lives. Click here to see a new infographic about advocacy efforts at LGBT community centers.
What’s also striking is that 25% of centers have no paid staff and rely solely on volunteers. And, small centers with budgets of less than $150,000 are much more likely to have few or no paid staff. Data from the 2018 LGBT Community Center Survey show that participating centers employ nearly 2,000 paid staff yet engage with more than 14,000 volunteers for nearly half a million volunteer hours annually.
So, if you’re looking for a way to support LGBT people in your community, consider making a donation to your community center—a proven way to strengthen the LGBT movement and provide support for LGBT people living across the country.
Click here to find and support the center nearest you.