Courtesy of Phoenix Pride, Aug. 15, 2016.

PHOENIX, AZ — It is with a heavy heart that Phoenix Pride announces the closing of the Phoenix Pride LGBT Center located at 801 N 2nd Avenue in Phoenix, in order to refocus its efforts on its original mission of empowering, educating and supporting the Arizona LGBTQ Community through its annual events and fundraising efforts, including more than $90,000 in annual grants to local LGBTQ nonprofits and scholarships. Although the Center will be closing to walk-in clients effective Tuesday, August 16th, Phoenix Pride is committed to continuing to provide needed services moving forward, simply without a physical space. These services will include the online Job Board, online linkage to partner agencies, the Arizona LGBTQ History Project and regular resource events, including job fairs, health fairs and diversity & inclusion trainings.

The Phoenix Pride LGBT Center has been operated by Phoenix Pride since March of 2014 when it stepped in to keep the Center open following One Voice Community Center’s announcement that it would close due to lack of funding. Over the past two years, Phoenix Pride’s festivals and events have supported the Center’s continuing operation, while Phoenix Pride explored different opportunities and financial models to make the Center sustainable. However, after careful review of the Center’s utilization over the past 2 years, Phoenix Pride has been able to establish that, while it has excelled at being a place that brings the community together for regular social opportunities and meetings & events, it is not serving enough clients needing day-to-day access to services. Combined with the continually increasing costs of providing programs and the ever- shrinking availability of new funding, Phoenix Pride has decided to close the Center to walk-in clients effective Aug. 16.

The Center staff will be working with all facilitators and groups currently scheduled to meet at the Center to provide the space they need at the Center over the coming weeks and assist them with finding new space for the future. Additionally, Phoenix Pride will maintain all of the equipment of the Center and conduct a Community Needs Assessment to determine the viability of reopening a physical Community Center in the future.

“Phoenix Pride’s festivals and events have continued to grow each year due to community support and engagement, but that growth alone has not been large enough to maintain and grow the Center in the way that we had hoped when we took over,” said Justin Owen, Phoenix Pride’s Executive Director. “Over the past two years through our festivals and events we have been able to continue to fund more than $90,000 a year in grants and scholarships back into the local LGBTQ community and we are on track to do that again this year. With the closing of the Center, we will be able to grow our community funding to ensure that the much needed funding is available to other local LGBTQ nonprofits and service agencies to maintain and grow their programs and services in metropolitan Phoenix.”

The closing of the Phoenix Pride LGBT Center will not impact Phoenix Pride’s festivals and events and the organization looks forward to continuing the services it provided before taking over the Center. Phoenix Pride’s events connect the ever-growing LGBTQ community in Arizona with hundreds of service agencies, local businesses and corporations that support the LGBTQ community’s right to full equality and living as its authentic selves.

Phoenix Pride would like to thank all of the volunteers, partner agencies, clients and supporters that have helped keep the Center open for the past two years. We look forward to working with the community to determine if a physical Community Center is possible in the years to come.

For inquiries related to currently scheduled meetings and groups, please contact: center@phoenixpride.org

Phoenix Pride is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which unites and engages individuals and organizations to empower, educate and support the Arizona LGBTQ Community. Phoenix Pride produces the two largest LGBTQ cultural celebrations in Arizona which directly fund over $90,000 annually in grants to local LGBTQ nonprofits and scholarships. For more information about Phoenix Pride, please visit www.phoenixpride.org or call 602-27PRIDE.

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