Out Reach – A Fund for LGBT Life in Monterey County

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people have been and will continue to be an integral part of our diverse community tapestry in Monterey County.

To help address the needs of our local LGBT residents, the Community Foundation created Out Reach, A Fund for LGBT Life in Monterey County, as the first permanently endowed fund of its kind in our community. The fund’s purpose is to improve the quality of life for LGBT family members, friends, and loved ones. Its goals include:

  • Increasing public awareness of local LGBT communities and issues,
  • Generating new support for these local communities,
  • Building a permanent endowment which will provide a source of financial support for agencies that serve our local LGBT communities and,
  • Strengthening the organizational capacity of LGBT-serving agencies.

With guidance from the Out Reach Advisory Committee, the Community Foundation undertook a comprehensive study with input from over 300 LGBT and allied community members. Among other things, this study found:

  • that our local LGBT community is resilient, demonstrates a drive to address important issues, and has a strong interest in community building;
  • that there is a paramount need to support LGBT youth in Monterey County, and;
  • hat a form of LGBT drop-in resource center and gathering place to better access community resources and information would be highly welcomed.

Out Reach is an opportunity for individuals, corporations and foundations to pool resources and make positive changes in our community.  The funds raised will be used to build the permanent endowment and to support, through grants, the work of nonprofit organizations serving Monterey County’s LGBT communities.

Funding priorities include:

  • Arts and culture – Creative forms of expression that raise awareness about LGBT issues and promote dialogue toward increasing LGBT self-identity and understanding within the larger community.
  • Awareness, Education, and Civil Rights Initiatives that foster a climate of acceptance and ensure equal rights and opportunities for LGBT people of all ages, ethnicities, and socio-economic levels.
  • Youth and Seniors – Programs offering safety, counseling, and support for LGBT young people and seniors through social activities, education, mentoring, resources, and opportunities to build relationships.
  • Organizational Capacity Building Efforts that strengthen the ability of LGBT-serving community organizations to achieve their mission.
  • Health and Mental Health – Services that guarantee safety and respect and are sensitive to the needs of LGBT youth, adults, and seniors.