About Us

Our Mission

The LGBTQ Center Long Beach advances equity for LGBTQ people through culturally responsive advocacy, education, programs, and services.

Our Vision

We envision fully affirming communities where all LGBTQ people live in health, wellness, safety and prosperity.

Our Values

  • Providing services centered in the lived experiences of LGBTQ people.
  • Approaching our work with mission-driven, culturally-inclusive focus.
  • Internal leadership reflective of the community we serve.
  • Collaboration as an essential component to achieving our mission.
  • Ethical leadership and service provision.
  • Interactions with clients, community members, volunteers, and staff that are trauma-informed, intersectional and client-centered.
  • Programming which addresses the experiences of LGBTQ individuals across spectrums of gender, sexual orientation, age, race, religious origin/faith background, national origin, immigration status, educational background, language(s), (dis)ability and socioeconomic status.

Our History

The Center began in 1977 as living room gatherings to discuss issues important to the LGBTQ community. The Center was officially incorporated in 1980 as One in Long Beach, Inc. and has been providing a variety of health, social, advocacy, legal, and service programs to the LGBTQ community in the Greater Long Beach area for three decades. As a result of the AIDS epidemic, in 1984, The Center established Project Ahead, the first case management service in Southern Los Angeles County exclusively for those affected by HIV and AIDS. One in Long Beach was, in many instances, the only safe haven where people of all sexual orientations, genders, ethnic and cultural backgrounds and socioeconomic levels could receive HIV information, testing and counseling, healthcare referrals and other support services.In 1985, through the bequests of several individuals who died of HIV and AIDS, The Center was able to purchase a 7500 square-foot building located near 4th and Cherry, in Central Long Beach. The building was renovated and opened in 1986 as a new home of the agency. In 1987, the agency held AIDS Walk Long Beach which continues today as a separate foundation. In 1997, One in Long Beach became the Gay and Lesbian Center of Greater Long Beach. In 2014 we became The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach. Today, we serve over 25,000 people a year and include an array of services including support groups, workshops and seminars, youth services, free HIV & STI testing, legal assistance, domestic violence services, employment referrals, mental health counseling, cultural and social activities including the QFilm Festival, educational forums, and a thriving volunteer program with an active database of over 300 volunteers. The Center also provides meeting space for more than 20 community groups each month.

The Center also participates in a number of advisory and community groups including the 4th Street Business Association.

OUR FUTURE

After the successful completion of a three year strategic plan in 2018, and nearly a decade of consistent organizational growth, The LGBTQ Center Long Beach has undergone an ambitious strategic planning process to guide the organization through another long-term period of measured and sustainable growth.

Our strategic plan highlights our vision for The Center over the course of the next five years, culminating in a Center that is even more inclusive, more vibrant, more sustainable and sustained by our
community, with more space to serve even more LGBTQ people.

Over the next five years, we are making a commitment to ourselves and to the community to evaluate our Center from top to bottom, ensuring we have the right staff, the best programs, the most inclusive
practices and enough space to ensure that each and every person walking through our doors is afforded the opportunity to authentically thrive in our community.

We invite you make a commitment to join us on this next leg of the journey. Serving a community is no small undertaking, but with the support of our community, we are unstoppable.

Download a PDF of The LGBTQ Center’s Strategic Plan

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