Mission/History

MISSION

Founded in 2005, QSpot LGBT Community Center fosters the health, well-being and pride of NJ’s LGBT community by providing resources, referrals, education, and outreach.  QSpot is also home to QFEST New Jersey LGBT Film and Digital Media Festival, NJ’s only LGBT film festival, which strives to support and promote LGBT film & digital media, the individuals who create it, and the people and stories they highlight.  Additional QSpot arts programming includes the QSpot Marching Band, film club and Creative Expressions Group.  QSpot works tirelessly to fulfill its mission while operating a safe and welcoming 2000 sq ft community center in Asbury Park/Ocean Grove, NJ.

QSpot is the only LGBT community center serving the diverse cities of Asbury Park, Ocean Grove, Red Bank, Long Branch, Toms River, Princeton, Trenton and others while operating as a 501(c) tax exempt non-profit organization.

QSpot provides vital services to this under-served community including education, advocacy and support for LGBT youth, LGBT seniors, parents and families of LGBT, individual and group mental health counseling, internships, HIV support groups, transgender support group, 12-step recovery groups, job resource center, book club, women’s discussion group and more. QSpot is also a meeting place for other LGBT organizations and individuals looking for a welcoming place to hold important professional and personal events.

HISTORY

QSpot LGBT Community Center has been organized as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization since July 1, 2005. Joe D’Andrea, an Asbury Park resident, along with MaryAnn Vitiello, James Nappi, Brent Pawlecki and others, established the organization with the goal of opening an LGBT community center where services for residents could be provided. Tragically, within six months of its founding, D’Andrea suddenly died.

Since then, the Board of Trustees has stayed true to the founders vision, using an all-volunteer, grass roots, community-based model, QSpot began offering programming to support the LGBT community through a series of outreach initiatives. These initiatives have grown into the services the agency offers today.

On February 7th, 2015, QSpot moved into its new home, a 2000 sq ft facility that is a central gathering spot for NJ’s LGBT community, a place where individuals, groups and families can come to be social, have fun, find support and grow.

ABOUT JOE D’ANDREA

joedandrea-1From GayAsburyPark.com…

Joe D’andrea was a man who advocated for the LGBT community his entire life. As a young man living on Long Island, he created the first LGBT newspaper. At the early stages of the internet, Joe created an online HIV support group, one of the first allowing those living with HIV to share with each other. At his death, Joe was a 20 year survivor of HIV, and throughout his life, lent his talents and time to the HIV community.

When Joe and Will moved to Asbury Park in August 2000, Joe felt he finally found the home he had been looking for all his life. In true “Joey D” fashion, he became involved right away in the local political and social scene of Asbury Park believing his voice could make a difference in the community. Joe created the successful and popular website gayasburypark.com, which informed the world of his beloved Asbury Park.

But his pride and joy was being on the planning team of the Q Spot… a meeting place for the LGBT community that could be social and informative; a safe place for our community to gather.

QSPOT HISTORY… continued

Mary Ann Buchanan was named Board Chair Emeritus on June 1, 2015 after serving 8IMG_4580 years as QSpot’s Board Chair.  During her tenure from 2007-2015,  Mary Ann was responsible for some of QSpot’s most significant milestones including the opening of our first community center in 2013 and the acquisition and move into our current home – one of New Jersey’s largest safe spaces for the LGBT community.