Oceanside’s LGBTQ Center expands

Oceanside’s LGBTQ Center expands
The North County LGBTQ Resource Center is adding space to its current site in Oceanside to offer more programs and services, but its Executive Director Max Disposti says that the Resource Center is still falling short of meeting the needs of the community. Courtesy photo

OCEANSIDE — The North County LGBTQ Resource Center is bolstering its social services and programs thanks to a recent expansion of its operational space. 

Yet its Executive Director Max Disposti said that the Resource Center still lacks the funding and necessary space to fully meet North County’s demand for resources for the LGBTQ community.

“We’ve already outgrown the space we just expanded,” said Disposti.

The nonprofit already offers various social gatherings and support workshops for the lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, and questioning (LGBTQ) community in North County, as well as medical and social services, including HIV/AIDS testing and prevention, mental health counseling and case management.

By leasing an additional 450-square-feet of commercial space next door to its current Oceanside site, the Resource Center is able to introduce about seven new programs, according to Disposti. These new programs will include a group for veterans and active service members, a social gathering for transgender individuals, and a substance abuse program.

But Disposti said that he wishes the Resource Center, which is the only agency that provides services specific to the LGBTQ community in North County, could offer even more.

“This is a population that has been so underserved for the past 40 years. We’re trying to do everything but obviously we can’t,” he said.

“We’re almost concerned about letting everybody know (about the Resource Center) because we’re concerned we can’t supply all of the demand.”

Disposti said that as with most nonprofits, the biggest inhibitor is funding.

In 2012, the Resource Center operated on a $69,335 budget, 51 percent of which was spent on programming, 30 percent on rent, and 19 percent on staff salaries, according to financial statements on the center’s website.

All of the Resource Center’s funds come from donations, fundraising, membership fees, website advertising, and a few grants.

So Disposti is pushing to gain financial support from local governments and social service agencies. In particular he hopes that the Resource Center will be given a discounted rent, similar to what other North County nonprofits have been given, to cut back on operational costs.

In an effort to garner more support, the center is hosting an open house Aug. 30 from 5 to 7 p.m. at 510 North Coast Highway to unveil its new space and programming.

San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts will be the guest speaker and a number of local government officials are expected to attend.

Roberts said that the Resource Center helps people access services that were previously only available at the San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center downtown.

“I think this (LGBTQ services) has been one of those unmet needs in North County, and particularly now that the armed forces is inclusive,” he said. “As the first gay supervisor, I think that it is important that everybody in San Diego County has access to services.”

 

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