Ten Ways the GLCC is building Community in Downtown Pittsburgh

Guest Post submitted by Sue Kerr, Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents

 

Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ Community Center is called the GLCC (Gay and Lesbian Community Center) and is located at 210 Grant Street, just a block away from the City-County Building. The GLCC is open 7 days a week with a range of programming open to everyone in the community – LGBTQ persons and straight allies.

The GLCC was founded in the mid-1970’s as a support phoneline with the help of Persad Center (founded in 1972) and formally incorporated in 1981. For nearly 35 years, an all-volunteer team has provided programming and supports to the LGBTQ community. You can read more about the history of the GLCC.

Our location in Downtown Pittsburgh expands our capacity to be a physical community center for our Downtown neighbors (residential and workforce) as well as the regional LGBTQ community. We have many programs and services that contribute to a healthy, vibrant Downtown community. Please consider stopping by to learn more. Our doors are open to everyone.

How is the GLCC building community in Downtown Pittsburgh?

1. Open Doors – The GLCC is open 7 days a week (all-volunteers) for people to stop in with questions, seeking services, or wanting to access our resources. The main exception is Friday evening when we are a youth-only center (plus adult advisors.) But we are very accessible as a resource in terms of our phoneline, online presence and our actual physical hours. Stop by – 210 Grant St, Monday – Saturday 12-9 PM, Sun 12-6 PM.

Current and former chairs gather at the GLCC

Current and former chairs gather at the GLCC

2. Social & Recreational Opportunities – The GLCC has many programs that are open to the public for a very modest donation of $2 or what you can give. All our listed on our calendar. These include:

  • Open Mic Night
  • Movie Night
  • Board Game Night
  • Monthly Potluck

3. Health Resources – The GLCC has services open to anyone in the community. Mayor Peduto recorded a PSA for our HIV testing services. Health services include:

    • Free, confidential testing for HIV and STD/STI’s Thursdays from 5-9 PM
    • Wellness classes (see calendar)
    • Healthcare for the Homeless Clinic – Monday 1-3 for neighbors experiencing homelessness
    • Referrals to clinical services and other low-cost programs.

4. Library Resources – the Jim Fischerkeller Library is the 3rd largest LGBTQ collection in the United States. We have over 9,000 items which are free to borrow during regular hours. We also occasionally make duplicate copies available for sale for a nominal donation.

5. Youth Programs – if you have youth in your Downtown family, youth visiting your Downtown home or youth working at your Downtown office, the GLCC has enriching programming at no cost. LGBT youth, questioning youth and allied youth are welcome. These programs include:

  • Friday Night Drop-In from 7-10 PM for ages 13-18. A safe space for social activities, educational workshops and being yourself.
  • Persad’s Real Time – Tuesday and Friday 5-7 PM is devoted to youth ages 13-22 in need of more structured support. Activities, workshops, snacks and more are available at no cost.
  • SAY is our outreach programming for homeless youth ages 13-24, both LGBTQ and straight. SAY has hours Monday – Thursday from 12-3 PM with a range of services.
Joe Wos from Toonseum leads a workshop for youth one Friday evening

Joe Wos from Toonseum leads a workshop for youth one Friday evening

6. LGBTQ meetings and groups – We host or have information on an array of LGBTQ friendly 12-step meetings. We also host regular meetings for various LGBTQ groups. Our community calendar has detailed information.

  • eBIcenter is a regular meeting of the bisexual and non-monosexual community. They have a Tea gathering at the GLCC and social activities in the community.
  • Men’s Gathering is a group of GBTQ men who meet every other Sunday for socialization and support
  • T to T is an ever other month social gathering for transgender individuals and their families.
  • sisTers is a monthly meeting for trans women
  • NEXUS organizes quarterly events for LGBTQ elders 50+ and distributes a weekly eblast with other events

7. Connections – The GLCC helps the most vulnerable in our community through Cathy’s Closet, a pantry of sorts for personal care items and winter gear and clothing. We also host a liaison from the Allegheny County Department of Human Services on a weekly basis to make programs and information more accessible to the community. We know that some of our neighbors Downtown can benefit from these programs, as well as the larger LGBTQ community.

  • From Sept to March, we accept donations of gently used or new winter items including coats and blankets. We distribute year round and work with 20+ partner agencies to get items into the community. Our drives are ongoing because the needs are ongoing so we were able to get blankets and sleeping bags to the community during the harshest days of this bitter cold winter.
  • Organize a collection at your worksite, place of worship or residential community. From blankets to toothpaste, we can put your items to good use supporting neighbors.
  • If you know someone in need, please refer them to us. You can send them our way or you can reach out on their behalf and collect items for them. Dignity is an important value to us.
Monthly volunteer orientation

Monthly volunteer orientation

8. Meeting and Event Space – the GLCC has several spaces available for rental needs from meetings to community events. We’ve hosted Tupperware parties, book clubs, yoga workshops, crafting groups and more. Fees are typically $2/person, but can be negotiated.

 9.  Resources and Referrals – For well over 30 years, our phoneline has been THE resource for the LGBTQ community. Every day we receive calls from parents whose kids have come out to them, from kids whose parents have come out to them and everyone in between. We can help you find a sports league, a list of LGBTQ friendly therapists, or even a support group. If you don’t know where to start, try us and we’ll help you figure out the next step.

10. OUTrageous Bingo – the best time you’ll have all month is at OUTrageous Bingo. For 16 years, volunteers have been organizing this fundraiser that benefits the GLCC and Shepherd Wellness Community. Bingo is currently held at Rodef Shalom Congregation in Oakland on Saturday evenings Sept through June. For $15, you’ll have an outrageous time in this family friendly, saucy gathering whether you are a bingo novice or an expert. Learn more via this great story on WESA recorded in 2013.

Finally, the GLCC has multiple opportunities to promote YOUR business, services and events to tens of thousands of people in the region. While we do not accept paid advertising, we can share your information on our Community Calendar which will in turn be shared via our social media tools. You are also welcome to bring printed information to the GLCC and leave on our information table. We do have promotional opportunities available through OUTrageous Bingo and other special events. It doesn’t have to be LGBTQ specific – simply welcoming to the LGBTQ community. The GLCC can be your conduit to the regional LGBTQ community.

For more information on any of these opportunities to tap into the resources of the GLCC, please contact us at:

210 Grant Street (Lower Level) * Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone: 412-422-0114 
www.glccpgh.org * info@glccpgh.org
Facebook.com/GLCCPgh
Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest/Tumblr @GLCCPgh
Step outside the door and feel the bustle.

Step outside the door and feel the bustle.

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