San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center Fact Sheet
History and Mission
“The Center inspires me. It’s the place I belong, you belong, and we all belong. How could I not be part of that?”
The mission of the San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Community Center is to connect our diverse community to opportunities, resources and each other to achieve our vision of a stronger, healthier, and more equitable world for LGBT people and our allies. The Center’s strategies inspire and strengthen our community by:
• Fostering greater opportunities for people to thrive.
• Organizing for our future.
• Celebrating our history and culture.
• Building resources to create a legacy for future generations.
Despite gains in social understanding and approval for LGBT people over the past 40 years, LGBT people still face both individual and systemic discrimination. Since its opening in 2002, the Center has established itself as a cornerstone of the LGBT community with an impact that goes beyond its direct services. As the only non-profit in San Francisco serving all members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, the Center plays an important role as the physical and spiritual home for LGBT culture, and is vital to the ultimate survival of our identity as a community.
The Center's critical safety net programs serve the most vulnerable members of the community -- people of color, transgender, lesbian, and bisexual women, differently-abled people, youth, elders, immigrants, and low-income individuals -- who often experience additional, intersecting forms of discrimination.
Today, when visitors arrive at the Center, they find free services like career counseling, job fairs, computer lab, social activities, mentorships, youth meals, daycare, various workshops and much more. Here they can connect with other LGBT people and organize to secure our equal rights. The Center is truly the heart, home and hands of the San Francisco LGBT community.
Programs and Services
“I became a member of the Center because it is important for me to be a part of the community. What better way than to volunteer? We now have a place to meet, use as a source of entertainment and culture, and just call our own.”
Today the Center is a nexus for the LGBT community and allies to gather, organize and celebrate. We host over 200 programs and welcome more than 9,000 individuals each month, in addition to providing affordable office space.
Our own service programs provide leadership that brings the community together to work on issues of civil rights, public policy and community activism, tackling problems of discrimination, homophobia and disenfranchisement. The Center is sought out as a collaborative leader and partner, leveraging the work of community-based organizations through active engagement with over 70 local organizations.
Direct programming is designed to serve low-income community members who are among those most in need, including youth, job seekers, children and families, city newcomers, women and the transgender community. Programs areas include:
Economic Development assists LGBT jobseekers in finding safe and secure living-wage employment, help LGBT-run businesses grow, increase LGBT community financial assets, and eliminate barriers to transgender economic success.
Health and Wellness programs include a robust Information and Referral program where 60% of referrals include mental health services, sexual/and or domestic abuse, HIV/AIDS or general health / health access.
Children, Youth and Family. We provide childcare services to LGBT families six days a week. Over 500 youth annually receive leadership development, job training, queer youth prom, and for marginally housed youth, free meals.
Community and Policy Initiatives empower community members and respond to important emerging community and policy issues such as marriage equality and employment protection. These programs are conceived, designed and implemented for and by community members, and are supported by Center staff.
Arts and Culture hosts art exhibits and collaborative programs to increase the visibility of LGBT artists and public access to cultural activities.
Building Facilities. Our solar powered, 35,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility is open six days a week, events range from 12-step meetings to town halls to readings and lectures. The Cyber Center provides free computer access. Rental spaces serve groups ranging from 10 to 400 in size.
In March 2008, Rebecca Rolfe was hired as Executive Director, before which she served as the Center’s Interim Executive Director and Deputy Director for four years. She spent eight years prior to that as San Francisco Women Against Rape’s Executive Director. Our executive team reflects our community’s diversity, including people of color and transgender individuals. They have a solid track record of professional management, financial control, fundraising leadership and program success.
The Center’s staff is supported by a dedicated board of directors, who are involved in all aspects of the Center’s work, from voluntarism to event planning, development and operations. The Center’s leadership strength is represented by its community ownership. A broad and diverse group of more than 700 community volunteers are actively engaged in our work, significantly expanding the service reach of our 20-member staff.
“The Center has given me a different perspective on being gay in San Francisco. I was disappointed with most of what I had experienced as community in San Francisco until I started volunteering at the Center.”
The Center is more than a building, more than a collection of programs and people. It is a symbol that represents a belief in civil rights, freedom of expression, and an inclusive community for all people. These are fundamental San Francisco values, and we believe fundamental American values. Your donation is an investment in making this shared dream for a better future true today. To learn more about individual donor, corporate sponsorship, foundation funding or volunteer opportunities visit us online at www.sfcenter.org or call our Development Director at (415) 865-5665.
The Center’s FY 2012-2013 budget is $2 million.
SF LGBT Community Center 2008-2010 Biennial Report