The LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert (aka “The Center”)
MISSION: Creating vibrant community by helping LGBTQ people along their way.
VISION: Thriving lesbian, gay,bisexual and transgender people, living authentically in support inclusive communities.
VALUES: Respect, Excellence, Inclusiveness, Fun, Integrity
The Center creates a vibrant community by helping LGBTQ people along their way, in Coachella Valley and visitors of all ages, totaling nearly 56,000 client visits annually. A thriving, community-based organization, The Center provides a safe and supportive environment for members to enjoy wellness, educational, support and social programming through such programs as The Scott Hines Mental Health Clinic @ The Center (over 2,000 clinical appointments annually), transgender therapy groups, a partnership with Palm Springs Unified School District to offer The Center’s Suicide Prevention and Anti-Bullying curriculum to every ninth-grade student in the district (nearly 2,000 students), public school counseling, The Community Food Bank @ The Center (serving annually over 16,000 family members from ages 1 through 55+), extensive social and recreational offerings, the David Bohnett CyberCenter (a free computer and internet center), a growing volunteer program, and special events in the community. It is the only LGBTQ non-profit community center in Eastern Riverside County. The Center receives broad support from across our desert communities, which includes local municipalities, foundation grants, individual and business memberships, special events, and gifts from its friends in the Coachella Valley who support the LGBTQ community. Several programs provide critical social interaction opportunities for members of the LGBTQ community who are alone, isolated, and for many, living at or below the poverty level.
The Center Board of Directors reflects the diversity of the LGBTQ Community: 50% are women; 7% are people of color; 6 identify themselves as gay; 7, lesbian; and 1, bi; the average age is 56 (median 60), and represent professions such as business, civic involvement, finance, human resources legal, marketing, and mental health.
Many of the learned fears still exist in this generation and as they age, they become isolated and self-protective. Recognizing this, in 2005 the Foundation created the Golden Rainbow Senior Center, a one-room center that offered a few programs for seniors and a friendly, accepting place to gather. In October, 2011, the board expanded the scope of The Center’s operation to be all inclusive of LGBTQ people regardless of age and changed its name to reflect that expanded mission. We proudly move forward as a place for our entire community as The Center.