Pride Center of Western New York
THE HISTORY OF THE PRIDE CENTER OF WESTERN NEW YORK, INC.
The Pride Center of Western New York, Inc. was founded in 1998 by a group of individuals and business owners concerned by challenges facing the LGBT communities in all eight counties of Western New York (WNY). The Center incorporated in 2001 and recieved its first funding for staff and programming from the New York State Department of Health in 2002. The first grant funded a Director, Program Coordinator, and a part-time Mental Health Counselor as well as office space. Initial Pride Center goals included; developing gay friendly referrall lists for primary care, mental health and addiction services, to provide limited mental health support through individual and group work, and to develop a region - wide network of LGBT organizations. In 2008, the Pride Center joined the Evergreen Association, with partners AIDS Community Services of WNY, Inc., Evergreen Health Services, Alianza Latina, Inc., and the Evergreen Foundation.The Association provides fiscal, personnel, marketing and strategic planning to its members. Concurrently, the Pride Center moved into a 1,500 sq.ft. newly renovated space inside the Evergreen Center in downtown Buffalo, co-locating with Association partners. This arrangement allows a comprehensive continuum of services to be provided onsite in a safe and secure physical environment.
The Pride Center's ongoing programmatic success led to receipt of a series of on-going awards from the NYS Office of Alcohol & Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) to develop and produce a "Crystal Clear" campain targeting LGBT individuals. In 2007, the Pride Center recieved funding from the David Bohnett Foundation to establish a regional cyber center targeting young LGBT adults who need access to and use of the internet in a safe setting. That same year, The Pride Center became the SAGE ( Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders) Western New York Affiliate, offering social and educational opportunities to LGBT individuals 55 and older. In 2010, the Pride Center was funded to develop programs around domestic/intimate partner violence in LGBT communities and also became organizers of the WNY LGBT Pride Parade & Festivities.