Dear Friend of The Center,
 
This is a critical moment in time for our LGBTQ community. Over the last year the federal government has weakened protections for LGBTQ students in public schools, shamefully attempted to prevent transgender people from serving in our nation's Armed Forces, and enacted policies which have deteriorated protection from discrimination for all LGBTQ people. The result of these backwards and bigoted policies is that locally 
LGBTQ people and institutions were the most targeted group for hate crimes in Los Angeles County. 
Even more troubling, hate crimes committed against the LGBTQ community were more violent than hate crimes targeting any other group of people [1] We must stand up and stand together against these unprecedented assaults on our community.
 
Over the last year and in the year ahead, we are continuing our ambitious expansion to ensure that each and every member of our LGBTQ community has the support they need to not only survive but to thrive. In the last twelve months we have:
  • Doubled our domestic violence support staff to meet the needs of LGBTQ survivors and continue to serve as the sole LGBTQ domestic violence support provider in the South Bay.
  • Hired our first dedicated Senior Services Coordinator to serve our LGBTQ elders and pioneers.
  • Expanded monthly support services to LGBTQ youth in North Long Beach who would otherwise be without affirming programming.
  • Expanded Health Services staffing to provide additional free HIV and STI testing and increased HIV prevention services to the most at-risk people in our community.
We are counting on your support now so that we can continue to increase our reach to meet the needs of those most at-risk in our community. With your support, in 2018 we will be launching our first comprehensive legal services program providing critical support to LGBTQ victims of crime and violence and creating our first ever transgender health program where our trans community can access vital case management, referrals, and HIV prevention services.


Despite the continued threats to our existing funding, your Center is growing like never before. An investment in your LGBTQ Center is an investment the health and wellness of our growing community.  You can make a difference today with a gift that will ensure that every LGBTQ person in Long Beach has a safe, supportive, and comprehensive community center able to meet our community's complex and ever-growing needs.
 
You can find out more about our incredible work at  www.centerlb.org . On behalf of everyone at The Center, I want to thank you for your support and faith in our work. Our Center movement is only as strong as our community, and with your support, I know we will continue to grow stronger each and every day.

In Support and Solidarity,

Porter Gilberg
Executive Director
 
P.S. I hope to see you at our 5th Annual Black & White Ball on February 10. Tickets and tables are on sale now at www.centerlb.org/gala.


[1] Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations 2016 Hate Crime Report http://www.lahumanrelations.org/
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