For over 15 years, The DC Center has served the LGBTQ+ communities of DC through direct support, diverse programming, and targeted advocacy. During that time, we have aided over 200 people pursuing personal freedom and asylum, and distributed over 250,000 condoms to our surrounding community. In the last 6 months, we have done over 140 intakes with new clients from communities of color that were seeking housing, education, sexual health screenings, employment, and mental health support. We have also educated over 2,300 people from marginalized communities within the LGBTQ+ umbrella through our new Early Intervention Services Program. Today, we have over 20 support groups that represent diverse domestic and international communities. Our programs focus on building community bonds to help ensure no one feels alone and all can access support in facing the barriers that impact marginalized communities of color, gender, and sexual orientation.
This year, the Center joined a Coalition of over 15 local, diverse LGBTQ organizations to collectively advocate for the support our community needs and deserves to thrive. Together, we submitted a $20+ million funding request to the Mayor’s Office with a collection of proposals that will support hate crimes reporting, housing, health education, and professional development for the most marginalized members of our community, including trans and non-binary youth and LGBTQ+ older adults. We’re extremely proud to be a part of the Coalition and believe it is the best way to advocate for the support our community needs.
The request includes $10 million to fund a larger LGBTQ+ community center. This space will facilitate expanded services and greater collaboration between DC LGBTQ organizations through colocation and partnership. With over 9% of the DC population identifying at LGBTQ+, this is long overdue. This money would be used to purchase a new, larger space that multiple organizations would use together to better serve our community. This is a model that has worked in many other cities around the world, and will greatly benefit the DC LGBTQ+ community.
The DC Center has always been committed to serving LGBTQ+ communities and our diverse team has fought to stand in unity with open doors, arms, and hearts as we renew our commitment to equality for our most vulnerable and oppressed community and family members. We will continue to serve our most vulnerable community members and lead the local fight for equity as we serve our community as a whole.