July 1, 2014

Southern AZ's LGBT Community Center Closing

Wingspan will close its doors July 31 due to budget constraints; recently lost a few grants, struggled to keep donations.

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Tucson’s community center and resource hub for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents is closing.

On July 31 Wingspan will close its doors downtown because of budget constraints, said Paul Guerrero, president of Wingspan’s board of directors.

“There have been several times over the last few years that Wingspan was wondering how it was going to sustain over the long term,” he said.

Since the recession, the nonprofit struggled to keep community donations at high levels and recently lost a few grants that supported many programs.

Guerrero said Wingspan is working closely with the Southern Arizona Aids Foundation and other nonprofit organizations to keep most of Wingspan’s programs running.

Wingspan offered youth and family programs, anti-violence programs, support for LGBT homeless youth, as well as social outreach efforts fighting homophobia and discrimination.

A crucial service Guerrero said needs to survive is Wingspan’s 24-hour bilingual crisis hotline. He said it would be a “disaster to the community” if another organization does not continue providing that service.

“It is a way for us to identify who is in need,” Guerrero said. “We would often refer those calls to other non profits depending on the nature of the situation.”

Wingspan’s budget was about $600,000 Guerrero said.

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