In recent weeks, Napa County's weather has been all over the map, and a big topic of conversation.
However, some things aren't so easy to discuss openly.
This issue of Community Link highlights a program that supports Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning or Queer (LGBTQ) residents, and builds awareness of their contributions and challenges, in order to create a more inclusive Napa County.
If you'd like to support this or any effort, please complete a donor recommendation form and fax it to us at 254.7955. Give us a call at 254.9565 if you have any questions.
If you'd like to read past issues of the newsletter, go to http://www.napavalleycf.org/index.php?page_id=169.
Manager of Philanthropic Services
Health & Wellness
Raising awareness and increasing services for LGBTQ residents
Agency: On the Move
Support Needed: $31,000
Purpose: Operating expenses for The Napa LGBTQ Project
Napa County is a mere 50 miles from San Francisco, but in terms of acceptance of LGBTQ residents, it can feel worlds apart. An estimated 11,000 LGBTQ people live in our Valley, but many remain closeted and are fearful of prejudice or hostile behavior directed at them. Napa County's Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) provided funding to start The Napa LGBTQ Project (Project), a program designed to involve the community in raising public awareness of LGBTQ residents.
Last fall, the Project held a forum, so community members could help identify priorities. Some 200 adults of all ages, ethnicities and sexual preferences attended. Discussions at the event shaped the Project's agenda for its first year: building awareness of the Valley's LGBTQ population and their needs; support for LGBTQ high school youth; and, opening an LGBTQ-focused community center. Subcommittees are working on each of the priority areas, and the Project's 15-member volunteer Advisory Committee monitors progress.
During the last six months, the Project also has conducted 10 workshops for local professionals. Topics include: "LGBTQ 101"; and, "best practices for working with LGBTQ Youth." So far, more than 170 people have attended the trainings. It's no surprise, since many nonprofits and government agencies have not offered LGBTQ-appropriate outreach or direct services. The Project also will launch in April a monthly support group for the Valley's estimated 1,000 LGBT elderly residents.
On the Move, a local nonprofit that for several years has offered LGBTQ youth support groups, is the Project's fiscal sponsor. Two part-time, professional staff manage the Project and its cadre of volunteers.
Most of the Project's $160,000 budget comes from contracts with HHSA and Spectrum LGBT Center of the North Bay (a nonprofit). This year's budget includes $50,000 to conduct a first-ever census and needs assessment of the LGBTQ population, as well as services to strengthen high school Gay-Straight Alliance programs.
Now, the Project is looking for another $31,000 to plan and launch an LGBTQ-focused community center; these one-time costs cover additional staff time ($11,000), plus stipends for youth interns and coaches ($15,000), as well as business-plan consultant fees ($5,000). Your support would help make Napa County a more inclusive place for all.
Napa LGBTQ Project
780 Lincoln Avenue
Napa, CA 94558
Contact: Ian Stanley, Program Director
Photo: used with permission, Sporter Photography