Steve Somann, President of DCVC is cutting the ribbon assisted by supporters. Photo by Bernie Goldstein
Diversity Collective Ventura County was proud to hold the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting of the Community Resource Center on Thursday, August 3rd at their new location at 2471 Portola Road, Suite 100 in Ventura.
The LGTBQ Community in Ventura County has been without a community resource center since 2009 when Rainbow Alliance moved to smaller offices due to cuts in HIV-AIDS funding at the state level, and ceased operations completely in 2011.
Diversity Collective Ventura County will run its HIV-AIDS Education and Prevention Program from the center as well as house partner organizations The Free 2 Be Me Foundation, Rainbow Umbrella, HOPE Counseling Center, and Baumer Law Group.
“It is our hope to expand free rapid testing services to the most critically needed areas of the county such as Oxnard. Currently, there is no community-based organization providing these free services and according to a 2014 needs assessment there are over 1,400 individuals living with HIV/AIDS in Ventura County and the numbers continue to increase” said Michael MacDonald, Board of Directors.
This year’s Ventura County Pride Festival is a fundraiser for the Community Resource Center. Joseph Summers, Vice-President of DCVC states “Diversity Collective relies on proceeds raised at the festival to sustain the new center. Proceeds raised from the minimal cover charge, sponsorships, and beverage and merchandise sales go to sustain the new center. Ventura County Pride is an all-inclusive family friendly festival celebrating our diversity in the LGBTQ community. It’s is our main objective to celebrate, educate and advocate for the LGBTQ community. There will be live entertainment all day long, over 60 vendors offering education and advocacy for our community, food trucks, retail booths, and adult beverages”.
Steve Somann, President of DCVC stated, “An LGBTQ Community Resource Center has been in the back of my mind since Diversity Collective Ventura County started in May 2014, and a priority for me personally since becoming President in January 2016. I’m elated that the LGBTQ community as well as anyone else who needs information about programs and services will now have a safe place to call, visit, volunteer, which brings about an awareness to all in the community.”
Diversity Collective Ventura County is a community based nonprofit 501c3 organization. Promoting advocacy, education, and mental and physical health for the LGBTQ community in Ventura County via the community resource center, programs and community events. It is the parent organization of Ventura County Pride, AIDS Walk Ventura and The Diversity Gala. All proceeds raised through fundraising efforts go to fund DCVC and its community programs.