The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada needs help. The nonprofit, which provides such crucial services as STD tests, immunizations and youth and gender non-conforming programs, recently cut its operating hours and staff salaries to offset funding issues, executive director André Wade confirms. The Center is now shuttered on weekends and closes weekdays at 8 p.m.
The facility received more than $350,000 in grants for 2017, including $184,976 from the Southern Nevada Health District and $182,721 from the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public and Behavioral Health, according to a release. Despite these grants, Wade says, the Center has continued to struggle.
“Essentially, we didn’t receive a grant at the end of last year, so we started out this year in a deficit,” he says, referencing a specific foundation grant. “There are a couple of fundraising events that didn’t happen or didn’t give us the results that were needed, and that further compounded [things], so we’ve had to make some cuts to operations. That includes the hours and some staffing cuts, unfortunately.”
Throughout June (nationally celebrated as LGBT Pride Month) the Center is turning to the community to offset—via the nonprofit’s Proud2B campaign—what Wade calls a “sizable” loss. At press time, the organization had raised just $7,596 of its $50,000 goal.
Given the recent changes, Wade acknowledges that the Center needs “to do a better job of getting out and fundraising to get our message out. There are a lot of rumors and stuff going on. We haven’t had a marketing person for a while, so it’s been a little difficult.”
In its 2016 Impact Report, the Center provided 391,825 HIV prevention materials, condoms and safer sex kits to Southern Nevadans; 4,402 STD tests were administered there, and 1,133 people received immunizations on-site. The organization continues to host programs like the Youth Prom, Genderfest and Aging Communities Together.
And if the Center doesn’t make its Proud2Be campaign goal? “We’ll have to sit down collectively as a board and as staff to make decisions as to what programs and services would be affected,” Wade says. “We offer a lot of programs that are free, so we’re just looking for support from the community so we can continue to provide these services.”