Some LGBT Centers Struggle Financially


Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender centers in the state’s smaller cities are facing financial challenges.

LGBT Resource Center for the Seven Rivers Region is one of the few places in the tri-state area that provides a safe meeting space for support groups and also educates the greater community.

The La Crosse-based center can no longer pay its executive director, meaning it will have to cut hours and rely heavily on volunteers.

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Seven Rivers Region board president Cindy Killion says they haven’t been able to raise enough money. “I mean we’ve always struggled, because we’re LGBT. It’s not like people are at our door going, ‘Oh we believe in your issue, let us help you.’ It’s only been in the last five or six years that I feel like the tide is changing in terms of acceptance.”

Killion says the board is rethinking the way they do everything in order to keep the center open.

Gary Hollander is the executive director of Diverse and Resilient, an LGBT focused Milwaukee nonprofit. He says LGBT centers across the state have to rethink their business models. “The process becomes one where a group of people come together, they perceive that need and express that need, but they don’t really contemplate where they’re going to go for resources to keep it going and is it possible to keep it going without full-time staff.”

Hollander says LGBT community and resource centers in Eau Claire, Kenosha and the Fox Valley area have also experienced similar financial issues.