Affirmations Lesbian Gay Community Center, Inc: Overview Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 12 January 2017

Affirmations Lesbian Gay Community Center, Inc: Overview

Affirmations, a non-profit organization of section 501 (c) 3, was set up to serve and advise people by means of sexual orientations that are centered on gender identities. With a multi-use facility at the 17,000-square-foot building at Ferndale, Detroit, it has been distinguished as “the center for LGBT activities throughout the community” (About us, n. d. ). The organization treats lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders in that part of America, and has been affirmed as “the largest LGBT organization in Michigan… [and] also one of the ten largest in the United States” (About us, n. . ). It supports the philosophy gay is good.

Main Body Mission Affirmations’ purpose is to provide “welcoming space where people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and cultures can find support and unconditional acceptance, and where they can learn, grow, socialize and have fun” (About us, n. d. ). Here, the LGBT community can find their true meaning and self-worth, working for the purpose of celebrating the wellness and acceptance by finding the truth and beauty behind each one’s unique personal character.

By fighting for personal growth and development, it defines the organizational philosophy that “gay is good, you are not alone” (About us, n. d. ), although the projects or programs also extend to the bisexual and the transgender individuals. The overall mission, therefore, is “to create an atmosphere of safety and acceptance for all people” (About us, n. d. ) by helping them respect themselves through positive self-image. Programs

Programs and services are usually centered on empowering people in order to create a well-deserved, meaningful life, especially for the LGBT community. As stated, “We recognize one’s ability to make one’s own decisions and to live a rewarding and fulfilling life in ways that do not harm others. Affirmations programs and services allow people to discover their power and utilize it to become alive and whole in their lives. ” (About us, n. d. )

The programs that are being implemented by the Affirmations include the following: (1) Youth Services Program; (2) Health Services Program; (3) social and recreational activities; as well as the (4) Volunteer and Leadership Development Program (About us, n. d. ). Like the services, these follow holistic approaches that help fight heterosexism and homophobia, and focus more on “sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, race, class, education, religion, physical abilities, or personal characteristics” (About us, n. d. ).

Services Like the programs, the services also empower the LGBT community into creating a well-deserved, meaningful life. The organization’s services include the following: (1) discussion and support groups; (2) toll-free Helpline; (3) Pittmann-Puckett Art Gallery; (4) Game Room; as well as the (5) General Motors Foundation Media Center and Bayard Rustin Library (About us, n. d. ). However, when it comes to skills and operations, Affirmations usually center on the following:

(1) listening, (2) communication, (3) empathy, (4) problems solving, and (5) facilitation (About us, n. . ). There are thousands of volunteers duly committed to the purpose of helping the LGBT community within the organization. Funding Affirmations is a non-profit organization under 501 (c) (3) Public Charity, so that it is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ. Contributions are deductible, as stated by the law. For fiscal year 2006, direct public support reached a total of US$1. 18 million cash and non-cash that reached US$24,530, which is 97% of its total budget as of that year (Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service, 2007, p. ).

Of the total amount, direct public support comprises a total of US$1,176,997, while government contributions reflect exactly US$32,250 from grants (Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service, 2007, p. 1). From here, it appears that almost one hundred percent of its funds come from the public, apart from program service revenue (US$21,301), membership dues and assessments (US$12,379), interest on savings and temporary cash investments (US$19,848), net rental income (US$6,257), as well as other investment income (US$3,789).

Adding up funds taken from the latter, this comes up to a total of US$1,407,072 (DTIRS, 2007, p. 1). Procedures In promoting a principle of empowerment on the LGBT community, Affirmations takes the first step of engaging volunteers to use strength-based, holistic approaches through the utilization of trainings, group discussions, and seminars. The staff, volunteers, and the board of directors aim to work harmoniously for these people to meet their personal and social needs as part of the social community. Affirmations programs and services help to reinforce the wholeness, strength, and resiliency of LGBT people” (About us, n. d. ).

Therefore, the first aim of the staff is to be able to engage the most number of volunteers and funds as possible, in order to meet the organization’s mission of countering homophobia and heterosexual feelings with the help of the initiated programs and the services. While revenue from the F. Y. 006 was usually taken from direct public support, a total of US$134,251—or about 10%—also came from other financial sources, such as government fees and contracts, membership dues and assessments, interest on savings and temporary cash investments (DTIRS, 2007, p. 1). The policy, therefore, is to aim in attracting as many supporters as possible, either by attracting them as endorsers, as contributors, as employees and staffs, as clients, as advertisers, or just plain supporters.

As indicated, It is the policy of Affirmations Lesbian and Gay Community Center to provide equal… opportunity to all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, height, weight, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, HIV/AIDS status, political affiliation, veteran status, familial status, handicap or disability status, or a Vietnam-era or special disabled veteran, or other legally protected status in accordance with state or federal law. ” (Employment opportunities, n. . )

Board information The 14 directors is being headed by Pres. Nancy S. Katz, who has been in the service since the mid-1990s when she served as Secretary and then as Vice President. After raising a campaign that led them to a total of $5. 3 million intended to build a new community center, she entered the Board of Directors again and is now the President (Board of Directors, n. d. ). She came from Indianapolis, Indiana, and has remained in the southeastern portion of Michigan since the late ‘70s.

George Westerman remains as the Vice President and, according to the information… “led the team responsible for building the brand-new 17,000 square foot community center that Affirmations now calls home” (Board of Directors, n. d. ). He has been in the organization for 14 years, exercising true leadership character that has been very useful to the success of the organization. Meanwhile, Treasurer appears to be Roger Reisdorf; while the position of the Secretary lands on William Korsak.

History The organization started in 1989 in Southeastern Michigan (About us, n. . ). Initially, the organization was run by precisely the volunteers, as they offered their first service called the “switchboard,” a toll-free Helpline, which exists until this day. Two years after, Executive Director Jan Stevenson became the first executive, and it was under her leadership that the programs and services extended to include the bisexuals and the organization became open to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and the transgender individuals. The year after or in 1992, Affirmations opened the Pittmann-Puckett Art Gallery.

By 1994, it was the Youth Services Program that bursted to development and growth. When year 2000 came, Former Executive Director Leslie Thompson was said to have revitalized the organization. The following year, the Board of Directors initiated a feasibility study for the purpose of building a new home building at Detroit. This became successful, which led to the Board of Directors’ positive vote of building a new home building during the year 2003. This led to an organizational fundraising that led them to an additional $5. million in 2006, which was used in creating a new home center where they moved to the following year (About us, n. d. ).

Conclusion Affirmations appears to be the largest organization in Michigan that centers on the LGBT organization, as it carries a staff of 25, with 14 of them in working in full-time and a total of 11 working in part-time (Staff, n. d. ). Out of the total revenue in F. Y. 2006 amounting to US$1,407,072, total expenses reached a maximum US$1,010,277, producing an excess of about US$396,795 (DTIRS, 2007, p. 1).

However, despite the rather small financial excess, net assets during the start and end of the year appear to be US$3,439,799 and US$3,836,594 correspondingly (DTIRS, 2007, p. 1). This means that the organization had been growing these past years in terms of finance and productivity. Affirmations centers on empowering the LGBT community despite the race, color, national origin, familial status, or disability status. It defines the philosophy that, because gay is good, then they are basically not alone. This has always been their central theme.

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