connect / 2021
Building Pride: Creating an LGBTQ home in the SGV
The LGBTQ+ Center lost its physical space in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our goal is to create a physical space for the LGBTQ+ community in the San Gabriel Valley. This space will allow for socially-distant meetings while the pandemic continues, and regular in person meetings when it is over. It will also provide resources for those who need emergency services and/or healthcare referrals. The space will provide trainings for numerous causes, including safe space training, ally-support, family-support, and healthy living training.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- San Gabriel Valley
What is the problem that you are seeking to address?
The COVID-19 pandemic has made every single person in Greater Los Angeles feel less safe in innumerable ways. More so for LGBTQ+ individuals living in unsafe homes, unable to genuinely and safely express who they are. Currently, there is no physical space for the LGBTQ+ community to gather, especially LGBTQ+ youth. With over one-sixth of Gen Z identifying as queer and this is likely to increase with future generations, the SGV’s LGBTQ+ community requires a physical safe space, where there is otherwise none. The SGV needs this now more than ever given the rise in attacks aimed at people of color and the LGBTQ+ community. SGV residents are predominantly those of Latinx (45%) and Asian (28%) descent. The SGV LGBTQ+ Center serves a unique population in terms of both geography and demographics. We are a unique community and require a safe space to meet our unique needs.
Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.
Building Pride seeks to provide a physical location for the San Gabriel Valley LGBTQ+ community. The location will be a safe space to connect with peers, learn from other members of their community, find resources to address both mental and physical health issues, and look for support. This grant will help us establish a physical location to hold our popular peer social groups, host LGBTQ+ specific services such as health screenings, and to serve as an emergency haven in the event it is needed. Many LGBTQ youth live in unsafe homes due to bigotry. Building Pride will give them a space to be their authentic selves without fear. There is a desire to coordinate and strengthen the community in the SGV as we are currently working on collaborations with SGV Pride, Free Mom Hugs, Planned Parenthood, and the excellent local school districts of Arcadia, Alhambra, El Monte, Monterey Park, Rosemead, San Marino, San Gabriel, South Pasadena, and Temple City. This is critically important for youths who are only open about their sexual orientation at school and to their friends. With a physical location, we will also have a safe space to protect them from unsafe home lives, be able to talk about preventing suicide, and teach parents how to support their children. We would be able to expand on our already successful senior groups and establish mentor/mentee programs. Lastly, a permanent home tells those who want us to disappear that we are not going anywhere.
In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?Pilot or new project, program, or initiative
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
- Direct impact
- Indirect impact
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
With a physical safe space location for the LGBTQ+ Community in the San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles County will continue to be a shining light of progress and acceptance. Our physical space will serve the immediate needs of the community. This includes physical personal safety, physical and mental health needs, and communal fellowship. By creating a space where if someone is in a harmful situation, they can get the help they need to extricate themselves from that situation. The SGV LGBTQ+ Center has an amazing working relationship with Planned Parenthood of the SGV. We plan on expanding this relationship to include educational programs at Building Pride location, addressing our communities physical and mental health needs. One of our strongest programs is our peer-support groups. We plan on continuing our current groups and expanding new ones, creating a connected LGBTQ+ Community.
What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?
We will define success if we establish a physical location by August 2022. Our other metrics of success would be to expand our peer support groups in both number of groups and attendance. Doubling the overall number of participants in peer support groups by August 2022 would be a huge success. We conducted a community needs assessment for the SGV LGBTQ Community. We received hundreds of responses from the diverse population of LGBTQ individuals. Overall, there was significant desire for a physical LGBTQ Center. Our metric of success for this is whether or not we have that physical location by August 2022. The survey also revealed that the SGV LGBTQ seniors desire a physical location to foster connection and a broader sense of community. We have over 60 seniors that participate in our virtual programs. This aspect has two metrics for success: do we have 120 seniors actively engaging in our programs per month and have we successfully launched our intergenerational mentoring program.
Which of the connect metrics will you impact?
- Social and emotional support
- LGBTQ+ equity and inclusion
Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.
- LA is the best place to LEARN
- LA is the best place to PLAY
- LA is the healthiest place to LIVE