The Center for Sexuality & Gender Diversity (The Center) is pleased to release its first annual Impact Statement of services provided to the community.
“The Center provides services to support Kern County LGBTQ+ residents in living happy, productive, fulfilling lives in a safe and supportive community,” said Executive Director Jan Hefner. “Our efforts are focused on individual support services such as counseling and activities to help build self-esteem, and community transformation activities including cultural competency trainings. By conservative estimates, 43,000 Kern residents identify as LGBTQ+; many have struggled for self-acceptance as well as acceptance and understanding from family, friends, and community. The Center provides that acceptance and educates the wider community in how to provide affirming services.”
The highlights in the Impact Statement include 552 private counseling sessions provided and 819 persons receiving Cultural Competency Trainings during the year. Trainings were provided to a variety of organizations and businesses, including the Bakersfield Police Department, Kern County Network for Children, Bakersfield Homeless Center, Kern Behavioral Health & Recovery Services, and more. In mid-November, The Center also launched direct services in ten Kern communities outside of Bakersfield, including Ridgecrest, Kern River Valley, and Taft.
“If a picture is worth a thousand words, so is a quantifier of community impact,” adds Board President Louis Medina. “The Center’s Community Impact Sheet for 2018 features many such quantifiers that hopefully will paint a picture of the BIG impact The Center made in the lives of many people in the local LGBTQ+ community and its allies last year, as well as among our nonprofit partners who are now more culturally competent on LGBTQ+ issues and needs. This data excites us because thanks to staff growth and increased board and volunteer engagement, we are hopeful that The Center's community impact will just continue to go from strength to strength."
Comments received across programs affirm that The Center’s services are improving client lives:
The Center’s programs and services receive major funding from California Reducing Disparities Project, The California Endowment, Kaiser Permanente Kern County and other funders, as well as corporate and personal donations. For more information on receiving services or supporting The Center’s work, call 661-404-5209.