Founded in 2003, Q Center has championed the empowerment, affinity, and wellbeing of LGBTQIA+ communities of Oregon and Southwest Washington for nearly 15 years. Following leadership changes in 2015, the center has been reinvigorated as a convener and community hub for hundreds of LGBTQIA+ individuals and groups seeking information, support, and opportunities to connect and build community in a friendly and safe environment.
A key factor in reinvigorating Q Center has been uplifting individuals and communities most impacted by intersectional oppression: LGBTQIA+ people of color, trans and nonbinary people (T/NB), people with disabilities, youth and seniors. Hiring one transgender woman and one queer man of color as executive co-directors and recruiting a majority POC and T/NB working board has dramatically shifted our culture and priorities. It has also been successful: Under this leaderships first full year at the helm, we ended the 2016 fiscal year in the positive for the first time since 2013!
In addition to 30+peer support and activity groups, our LGBTQ senior program, and the recently relaunched Information & Referral (I&R) service, Q Center currently houses The Equi Institute (a transgender-affirming community health clinic); Sankofa Collective NW (Portland's only nonprofit dedicated to the wellbeing of Black LGBTQ community members); The Community of Welcoming Congregations (an association of open and affirming faith organizations); and Pride Northwest (producer of the Portland Pride Festival). Our drop-in community and event space is frequented by over 15,000 visits per year, and our I&R service receives over 7,000 calls and emails annually from people seeking LGBTQIA+ competent services.
Today, we advance our mission through four core programs:
An added value and critical service for many, Q Center provides information, support, and advocacy to our extended community of family, friends, partners, health providers, social workers, and educators who engage with LGBTQIA+ individuals. We are committed to thoughtfully expanding community capacity through collaborative programming with other nonprofits and public institutions locally and statewide.
Peer Support: More than 25 peer-led groups meet daily, weekly, or monthly at Q Center, offering support for coming out, recovery, social connection, resource sharing, and more. Peer-led groups accounted for 80% of our 15,000 recorded visits in 2015.
Encouraging Respect for Aging (*eRa*): Our LGBTQIA+ senior program for people 55 and older offers 26 weekly hours of free programming to more than 200 members, including Meals on Wheels, workshops, physical activities, and social events.
Information & Referral (I&R): Roughly 7,000 community members across Oregon and SW Washington sought culturally competent and safe referrals from Q Center in 2015, primarily for shelter, health care, mental health support, and emergency services. You can access our searchable database here.
Community Events: Community-wide and culturally specific events provide opportunities for LGBTQIA+ people of all identities to socialize, celebrate, heal, learn, and build community together.
Plus, we're fun! ;)