Asbury Park Press: LGBT center in Asbury Park opens its new home

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…

QSpot LGBT Community Center to hold Grand Opening Celebration & Dedication Ceremony on May 17

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.

Event ImageThe 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.

ABOUT QSPOT

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.

QSpot $5,000 GiveOUTDay Challenge!

 
QSpot received an incredible challenge! For every dollar we raise during our GiveOUTDay campaign, two generous community members have pledged that they will match them dollar for dollar up to $5,000! This means that for every tax deductible contribution you make, QSpot can do twice as much to help the community!  GiveOUTDay is a national event that encourages people to support LGBT nonprofits which culminates on May 21.  All QSpot donations collected before the end of GiveOUTDay – 11:59 PM, May 21, qualify for the matching grant.  Please consider joining the challenge by making a donation now!  Thank you!



LIBRARY LOUNGE OPEN

QSpot is proud to announce that the Library Lounge, a coffee-house, cafe gathering spot, located within the QSpot LGBT Community Center, is open. The Lounge is one of only a few public places that are also LGBT safe spaces, a venue where the LGBT community can socialize without fear or prejudice.  The Library Lounge’s name is a reference to its location within the building that used to be the Old Neptune High School.  The Lounge occupies the school’s library which was built in 1897 and retains many of the original design features, such as exposed brick walls and arched doorways.  “It reminds me of a Greenwich Village beatnik joint,” said a recent visitor. The Lounge offers a mix of coffees, drinks, snacks and healthy food, along with free wifi. The Lounge is open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, 12 pm – close, with expanded hours coming in June.  Come in for a visit and mention this story for a free coffee.  Hope to see you at the Lounge soon!

Finding Recovery

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.

CONTINUED FROM NEWSLETTER….

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 info@jsqspot.org.