Message from the CEO
Rosa Diaz founded the Abide LGBT Life Group in June 2014 after coming out as a lesbian to her church and finding herself without any resources and support. By December 2014, the life group identified the need for more resources and organized the first LGBT Network Event. Though nine local Imperial Valley agencies participated voluntarily, few from the LGBT community attended. Thus, on January 29, 2015, Ms. Diaz invited members of the LGBT community to discuss the need for an LGBT center in the Imperial Valley. At this meeting, around 20 people attended and formed a Board of Directors to make it happen.
Following the meeting, board members of the newly named Imperial Valley LGBT Resource Center met every week until the Articles of Incorporation were completed and filed in April 2015. The next goal was to finish the Bylaws. By October 2015, all the required documents were submitted, and the center celebrated its grand opening. Since then, it has added more services to meet the needs of a growing community. Today, the Imperial Valley LGBT Resource Center offers an array of services, such as substance abuse education and prevention, transgender support services, domestic violence classes, LGBT competency training, youth activities, support for loved ones of LGBTQ+, mental health support groups, HIV counseling and testing, and much more.
It has become the cornerstone for the LGBTQ community of Imperial County, serving thousands of people annually. The center is a proud member of CenterLink LGBT, a national association for LGBT centers, and has been recognized by the office of Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, Congressman Juan Vargas, Senator Ben Hueso, Imperial County Board of Supervisors, and the City of El Centro.
The mission of the IV LGBT RC is “to create a safe place and empower the LGBT community by connecting them to essential resources.”