LGBT Community Centers Continue to Lead in LGBT Services

LGBT Community Center Report

new report released from MAP and CenterLink shows 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. For many people across the U.S., these community centers are often the only local source of targeted social, educational, and health services.

The 2018 LGBT Community Center Survey Report: Assessing the Capacity and Programs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Centers surveys 128 centers located in 40 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, and provides a snapshot of the centers that provide vital services, programs, and advocacy for LGBT people.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Participating LGBT centers serve 40,550 people in a typical week and refer nearly 5,550 individuals each week to other agencies for services and assistance.
  • The 113 centers that reported 2017 revenue data have combined revenue of $226.7 million. Small centers projected an 18% increase in expense budgets from 2017 to 2018, while large centers projected a 5% increase from 2017 to 2018.
  • Nearly half (47%) of all participating centers reported obtaining at least one government grant (local, state, or federal) of over $10,000 in 2017.
  • Participating centers employ nearly 2,000 paid staff and engage with more than 14,000 volunteers for nearly half a million volunteer hours annually.
  • Half of LGBT community centers remain thinly staffed: 25% have no paid staff and rely solely on volunteers, and 32% have between one and five paid staff. As expected, small centers with budgets of less than $150,000 are much more likely to have few or no paid staff; 56% of small centers have no paid staff, while three-quarters (76%) of centers with budgets over $150,000 have six or more paid staff.
  • More than three-quarters of centers (78%) that engage in policy-related activities work to advance policy at the local level, 67% at the state level, and 31% at the national level.

Given the critical role of LGBT community centers in areas of the country with few other resources for LGBT people, and the large gulf between large centers and small centers, the report finds that small centers, in particular, are in critical need of additional financial support. The report concludes with the recommendation that investing in these centers is a targeted and focused way to increase the infrastructure of the LGBT movement and the support for LGBT people living across the country.

Every two years, MAP, along with CenterLink issues this biennial survey of LGBT community centers across the United States with the goal of helping LGBT organizations and their allies and supporters understand the strengths and weaknesses of the movement, current levels of activity and funding in priority areas, and where resources are needed most.

HOPEDC Celebrates 30 years of HIV Social Support

On September 15th, 2018, the Health Options and Positive Energy Foundation, Inc. (HOPEDC) celebrated  30 years of bringing together the HIV+ Men’s community in Washington, DC.

HOPEDC’s informal group originated in 1988, during the darkest days of the AIDS epidemic, when a small group of HIV+ Men met at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital during clinical trials of life-saving treatments. They decided to bind together for mutual moral support away from the hospital and began hosting private social events throughout the district. The clinical trial is long since history, but the fellowship that they started is still here today, with an active secret Facebook Group, an email Discussion list, and gatherings all over the Washington area.

The group remains active today, as the need for moral and peer support for HIV+ attendees has not changed. Over the years, services and support offered by HOPEDC have proven to be essential for the health and well-being of each Social attendee. The focus of the group is primarily directed to single gay men with HIV in the Washington, DC area, but all are welcome.

In 1996, the informal group became a non-profit 501C3 organization called The HOPE Foundation. Over the years, the group has grown to over 1200 individuals. The gatherings are now regular events called “The Monthly Social” where HIV+, and poz-friendly, gay/bi/trans/questioning men can meet and provide support for each other in the greater Washington/Baltimore area.

“We celebrate the dramatic medical breakthroughs that have turned HIV into a manageable condition, but we are deeply aware of the Social challenges of living well and responsibly with HIV,” explained Jimmy Garza, Vice-President of HOPEDC. “That is why, 30 years later, we are still here and will continue to be here as long there is a need.”

HOPE DC is an all-volunteer non-profit organization that serves the HIV+ Community in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area. Services provided include the Monthly Social which offers a stress-free gathering that fosters mutual support, as well as and website to share articles, information, links and resources about living with HIV, a Facebook Secret Group, and also occasional public seminars or lectures. we also have monthly Brunches, and occasional Museum Tours, and Day Trips.

The HOPEDC philosophy is that by providing such services, they help HIV+ gay men foster a greater self-esteem and sense of community and that this in turn fosters the responsibility and behavior that helps diminish the spread of HIV.

The Group is funded by Generous Donations from Brother Help ThyselfWhitman Walker Health and Individual Private Donors.

To learn more about HOPEDC Like us on Facebook.

For more information about the group please visit

Improving the Health of the LGBTQ Community

Improving the Health of the LGBTQ Community

On July 14th, 2018, more than 60 researchers, students, community members, and health care workers gathered for “Improving the Health of the LGBTQ+ Community: Advocating for Ourselves Together” workshop  held at the Metropolitan Community Church.  We gathered to discuss wellness and cancer care needs in the LGBTQ+ community and inclusion in health research. The LGBTQ+ Research Community Advisory Board, sponsored by the George Washington University (GW) Cancer Center, planned and hosted the event. Download the meeting report here and feel free to share widely with your personal and professional networks:

Improving the Health of the LGBTQ Community: Event Report

Highlights from the day included a game show ice breaker for participants to learn some basic LGBTQ+ health and research facts; a panel discussion with five researchers; and small group discussions for participants to share their experiences with and suggestions for improving research. Attendees voted on research topics that had been collected over the past year in smaller community conversations as well as new ideas raised during the event. The four top research priorities were identified based on the vote counts and included:

  1. Solutions for social isolation, especially for transgender women and LGBTQ+ elders
  2. Increase provision of culturally responsive care for LGBTQ+ patients
  3. Needs of most stigmatized and least understood subpopulations within LGBTQ+ community
  4. Ensure universal health care access and coverage for basic health services and transgender transition-related services

Mandi Pratt-Chapman committed to leading work in the area of increasing provision of culturally responsive care for LGBTQ+ patients. Dr. Dana Hines committed to leading efforts in community participatory research to identify and address the needs of the most stigmatized and least understood subpopulations within the LGBTQ+ community. For more information or to get involved in these research areas, please email Mandi Pratt-Chapman at or Dr. Dana Hines at Individuals interested in serving on the LGBTQ+ Community Advisory Board should reach out to the GW Cancer Center at

Fact Sheet on Youth & Suicide in DC

Youth and Suicide in Washington DC

A new fact sheet on Youth and Suicide in the District of Columbia is available from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE).  16% of High School youth reported attempting suicide in the past twelve months, a number more than double the national average.    Among these students, our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender High School students are at significantly higher risk with little to no progress in addressing this health disparity since we started looking at these numbers in 2013.

YRBS Mental Health Fact Sheet

Eddy Ameen, a member of the DC Center Youth Working Group who has been working on this issue  for many years stated “While I hope the number improves on next YRBS, we ALL need to continue improving our safety nets TODAY with and for youth in our community.”

This data is available because questions about sexual orientation and gender identity are included in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS).  Legislation is currently before the District of Columbia to require this data collection on LGBTQ individuals in the YRBS and other survey instruments like the Behvioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS).  Read more about the legislation here.

B22-0840 – LGBTQ Health Data Collection Amendment Act of 2018

To see more information about the Youth Risk Behavior Survey or other LGBT health and wellness data in the District of Columbia visit







LGBT Community Centers Support Open to All Campaign

Open to All

Open to All is the nationwide public engagement campaign to build awareness and understanding about the importance of our nation’s nondiscrimination laws  – and to defend the bedrock principle that when businesses open their doors to the public, they should be Open to All.

Local businesses are invited to stop by the DC Center and pick up a free Open to All window decal to display at your place of business.  Or, if you sign up online at you will receive a window decal by mail.

Over the past several years, there have been increasing efforts to undermine laws that protect Americans from discrimination.  In more than half the country, our state laws still do no explicitly protect LGBT Americans from discrimination in stores and restaurants, in the workplace, or in housing.  And even when laws are in place, we know that people are often still harassed, policed, and even denied service based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion and/or disability.

That’s why fair minded Americans are joining together to support updating our nondiscrimination laws and engaging businesses in their communities to be Open to All.  To learn more and take the pledge, visit


Social Worker Job Opening at the DC Center

Job Opportunities at the DC Center for the LGBT Community

The DC Center for the LGBT Community is hiring! We are looking for a part time staff social worker. See below for details.

Job Position Description: Staff Social Worker/Therapist (LGSW or LICSW)

Staff Social Worker/Therapist Position:

The DC Center for the LGBT Community has a mission of educating, empowering, celebrating, and connecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community of Washington, DC. The Staff Social Worker/Therapist helps to achieve this mission by providing mental health support services to survivors of violence, crime, and trauma. These services are available free-of-charge to our community members due to grant funding from the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants (OVSJG). The Staff Social Worker/Therapist will see clients individually, with a chance to also work with clients in group settings. The person who fills this position is also responsible for other related projects, such as supporting the social work team in quarterly reporting and management of the OVSJG grant and occasional outreach and education opportunities in the LGBTQ community. They will report to the Executive Director. Please note that this position does not provide on-site clinical supervision hours, so should candidate want to pursue clinical supervision, they must do so off-site.

Special Skills:

The Staff Social Worker/Therapist must have the appropriate licensure to practice in DC (LGSW or LICSW) and have at least 2 years’ experience working as a clinician with a diverse client population. They must also have a demonstrated ability to work with LGBTQ+ adults, to work well in a team, to problem solve and communicate at all levels verbally as well as in writing. Must be self-motivated and be able to build and maintain relationships, both with colleagues and community members, as well as be well adept at working in a fast pace environment. Bilingual capabilities are strongly preferred, but not required.

Functions and Duties

Staff Social Worker/Therapist: Responsibilities:

  • Provide individual and couples mental health support services, both through counseling and case management to a caseload of 10-15 unique clients, with potential for group work
  • Conduct intake assessments with all new potential clients to assess safety, job status, financial resources, living arrangements, current support system, type and history of victimization, legal issues, related medical history, and clinical symptomatology for the past 30 days.
  • Provide clients with LGBTQ-friendly and affirming referrals to community-based services, aimed at assisting individuals affected by crime, violence and trauma
  • Assess clients and provide necessary intervention in crisis situations (safety plans, hospitalization, referrals, etc.)
  • Keep current and accurate records of all clinical interactions in MyClientsPlus, a clinical database system
  • Support social work team in writing of quarterly reports and managing grant deliverables for the OVSJG grant throughout the fiscal year
  • Deliver trauma-informed, culturally competent assessment and treatment techniques to all survivors seeking support services, and serve as a resource for all individuals seeking support through The DC Center
  • Work in partnership with The DC Anti-Violence Project members to further the mission, vision, and values of DC AVP
  • Facilitate, as needed, cultural competency training opportunities, community presentations, and outreach events
  • Work well with a diverse staff to facilitate an open, supportive and warm environment for all individuals who visit The DC Center

Please send qualified resumes to Justin Johns at by Friday, October 12th.

New Group Volunteer Opportunity at Wanda Alston Foundation

Wanda Alston Foundation

If you want to show your support for LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness, we’ve got a great opportunity for you and your friends.   For over a year now, DC Center volunteers have been recruiting volunteers to cook and serve a a monthly meal for LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness at Casa Ruby’s Youth House.  Our amazing volunteers Lamar Trowers and Jon Thomas coordinate this important work.

Well, now we are going to be doing the same thing at the Wanda Alston House, and this is a perfect volunteer activity for your church, temple, sports team, employee resource group, or just a group of your friends.   You and your friends can prepare and serve a meal at the Wanda Alston House.   We are looking for groups of volunteers to make dinner on the second Tuesday of every month.  If you are interested in helping out please contact our Support Desk at