2 min

Exclusively queer community centres come in all sizes.

One thing's for sure — they're a growing industry in North America

* The Los Angeles Gay And Lesbian Center is the world’s largest; Its 2005 revenue was US$37 million with US$10.7 million coming from grants, US$3 million from contributions and a whopping US$19 million from program fees. It boasts about 250,000 client visits annually, motivated by healthcare, legal, social, cultural and educational services and a 24-bed transitional living program for homeless youth

* New York’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual And Transgender Community Center was established in 1983. Visited by 6,000 people each week, the centre is used by more than 300 groups. It provides social service, public policy, educational and cultural/recreational programs. In 2005 its total revenues were US$6.4 million, with US$2.8 million coming from government and US$2 million coming from contributions

* Although San Francisco is known as America’s gay mecca, it didn’t incorporate a community centre until 1997. Organizers conducted an $11 million fundraising campaign to open a 40,000-square-foot centre in 2002

* The William Way Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual And Transgender Community Center was formed in 1996 and bought the Engineers’ Club Of Philadelphia in 1997 for US$350,000. Accessed by more than 2,5000 people each month, the centre’s 2004 operating budget was US$335,000

* Pikes Peak Gay And Lesbian Community Center in Colorado was founded in 1978, incorporated in 1981. It just moved into a new 3,000-square-foot space. Its projected revenue for 2007 is US$141,500

* The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual And Transgender Community Center Of Baltimore And Central Maryland was founded in 1977 to provide support services, facilities and professional resources. In 2001 its budget was less than US$100,000, serving about 6,000 people a year

* In addition to the usual offering of health, cultural and social services, both Vancouver’s Community Centre Serving And Supporting Lesbian, Gay, Transgendered, Bisexual People And Their Allies — better known as “The Centre” — and Montreal’s Centre Communautaire des Gais et Lesbiennes have lending libraries. Both are undertaking ambitious new expansion programs. Last year The Centre got $35,000 in city money to do a feasibility study to build a new home; estimates for construction start at $5 million, with a new centre expected to cost at least $800,000 annually to operate. In Montreal, Fondation Mario-Racine announced in 2002 the construction of a new $7.8-million centre, $3.6 million of which would come from the government; the project has not moved ahead publicly since its announcement.