Today, the Sacramento LGBT Community Center announced a $500,000 capacity building investment from Sutter Health as it opened its new location at 2012 K Street in Lavender Heights. The investment will support increased access for LGBTQ+ people to preventive sexual health and mental health support, homeless and at-risk LGBTQ+ youth support services, youth development activities, and cultural competency education over the next three years. Funding will increase the organization’s physical space, staff and development capacity.
“We are extremely grateful for Sutter’s investment in our community’s future. Both the scale of this contribution and engagement by Sutter employees in our programs are an acknowledgement of how severe the need is in our community and demonstrate their commitment as a partner in our work to create a region where LGBTQ people can focus on all aspects of their health and well-being,” said David Heitstuman, executive director of the Sacramento LGBT Community Center.
“As a not-for-profit organization, Sutter Health is proud to reinvest in the communities we serve,” said Keri Thomas, Vice President of External Affairs for Sutter Health Valley Area. “Improving the health of our communities starts with innovative thinking, diverse voices and inclusive approaches. We’re glad to team up with others within the community to help the Center expand services, which can now reach even more LGBTQ+ youth and foster youth so they may feel supported, safe and empowered.”
The announcement came the same week that the Sacramento City Council approved a $750,000 grant to help the Center purchase a permanent home that will meet the LGBTQ community’s current and future needs. Its long-time headquarters on L Street and annex office at 25th and J had significant structural deficiencies and were drastically undersized to keep up with recent growth. Since 2016, the organization launched six new programs, including three housing programs, and added 24 staff positions.
Sutter Health’s transformational funding commitment, and grants from the Johnson Family Foundation and Golden 1 Credit Union announced earlier this year, has allow the Center to meet urgent space needs by relocating to a temporary site at 2012 K Street, while simultaneously executing its plan to purchase a permanent home for the Center. The 6,000-square foot temporary space will accommodate all current programs and provide a slightly larger Q-Spot youth center. It also offers more confidential and community meeting space, improved connectivity across the Center’s continuum of health services, full accessibility via an elevator and three gender neutral restrooms, and more adequate workspace for staff, which will deliver greater opportunities for collaboration and better client outcomes.
This expanded capacity is especially important for hundreds of LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness who will have access to food, clothing, survival supplies, showers, transportation, life skills development, mental health respite, crisis intervention, counseling, case management, emergency shelter and transitional housing on a pathway to self-reliance. Additional square footage creates opportunity for more on-site mental health services, community education workshops, social justice advocacy, and community and cultural enrichment activities for thousands of LGBTQ+ community members who visit the Center each year.
“More than 40 years after the organization’s founding, we are elated to have the confidence and support of Sutter Health and the City as catalysts in our campaign to establish a permanent home for the LGBTQ community in Lavender Heights,” said Center Board President Carlos Marquez.
The Sacramento LGBT Community Center works to create a region where LGBTQ people thrive. It supports the health and wellness of the most marginalized, advocates for equality and justice, and works to create a culturally rich LGBTQ community.
Sutter Health is more than 60,000 people strong thanks to its integrated network of clinicians, employees and volunteers. Headquartered in Sacramento, Calif., Sutter Health provides access to high quality, affordable care for more than 3 million Northern Californians through its network of hospitals, medical foundations, urgent and walk-in care centers, home health and hospice services. Nearly 14,000 physicians and advanced practice clinicians care for Sutter patients.