Thank you to the Asbury Park Press for publishing a story about QSpot’s grand opening celebration and dedication ceremony!
LGBT center in Asbury Park opens its new home
One of the goals of the QSpot LGBT Community Center is to provide a place where people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender can celebrate their uniqueness and gain strength to bring that uniqueness into the broader community.
That goal, along with the rest of the center’s mission, gained momentum May 17 as QSpot organizers hosted a dedication ceremony to celebrate the opening of their expanded and permanent home, located inside the basement of the Jersey Shore Arts Center, 66 Main St. in the Ocean Grove section of Neptune. Read Full Story…
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
QSpot LGBT Community Center to hold Grand Opening Celebration & Dedication Ceremony on May 17
The QSpot LGBT Community Center will hold a grand opening celebration & dedication ceremony of their new facility located at 66 S. Main St., Ocean Grove, NJ on Sunday, May 17, 1-6 pm. The dedication ceremony will take place at 3 pm. The event is free and open to the public. Neptune Committeeman Randy Bishop and Monmouth County Freeholder Lillian Burry will speak at the event.
The QSpot LGBT Community Center is one of NJ’s largest safe spaces providing services to the LGBT community without fear, prejudice or discrimination. QSpot’s new facility features over 1500 sq ft of public and private meeting space along with a coffee-house cafe called the Library Lounge. It is the only facility of its kind in Monmouth County, an area with a large LGBT population. QSpot’s mission is to foster the health, well-being and pride of NJ’s LGBT community. QSpot provides support, education and referrals to LGBT youth, seniors, and families, along with 12-step meetings, social events, and is home to a number of LGBT clubs.
QSpot was founded as a nonprofit corporation on July 1, 2005. Joe D’Andrea, an Asbury Park resident, along with 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 founding the organization, D’Andrea suddenly died. In 2007, MaryAnn Buchanan, a QSpot volunteer and local resident, became Board Chair. Using an all-volunteer, grass roots, community-based model, over the last 8 years QSpot began offering programming to support the LGBT community. On February 7th, 2015, QSpot moved into its new home, a 1500 sq ft facility that is a gathering spot for the LGBT community. A place where individuals, groups and families can come to be social, find support and grow without fear, prejudice or discrimination. On June 1, Buchanan will be retiring and become Board Chair Emeritus.
Special Guest Column
– By Nick Petruncio –
Substance use is a long-standing challenge for the LGBT community. The Center for American Progress (CAP), a progressive non-partisan policy institute, estimates that between 20 and 30 percent of LGBT people regularly use alcohol/drugs, compared to 9 percent in the general population. According to CAP, stress that comes from daily battles with discrimination and stigma is a principle driver of these high rates. Judy Linscott, a Neptune-based therapist who works with the LGBT community, says that some in the community are affected by the treatment they receive from families, schools, communities, workplaces and relationships. For many, Linscott says, there is fear and threat of loss, harm or violence and the cloud of STD transmission. “This makes LGBTQ folks part of a more vulnerable population than straight folks who don’t experience the degree of daily stress, prejudice or feelings unique to a marginalized population,” she says.
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And for LGBTQ people faced with this kind of stress, alcohol or other drugs seem like the perfect escape. But, “places like the QSpot can provide information about where to get help and provide education for stress reduction and depression and other issues,” said Linscott. And among the services QSpot offers is an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. The meeting is known as S.O.S., which stands for “Sober on Sunday.” It meets at 12:00 every Sunday at the center. Although the meeting is geared toward LGBT people, any recovering person may attend. In addition to the meeting, QSpot provides information and referrals for substance abuse recovery. If you or anyone you know is in need of help, please call 732-455-3373 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.