Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Q-Spot: A Safe Place for All

By Alysia Angel, Youth Program Coordinator, Sacramento LGBT Community Center

The Sacramento LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) Community Center creates events, programs, and services that help lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people feel welcome, needed, and safe. One such program is called the Q-Spot.

The Q-Spot provides a safe place for LGBT kids to have access to meals and games, serving as a place to make friends while learning new skills. Located at 1927 L Street in Sacramento, the Q-Spot is small but affirming and inviting for youth that don't often receive affirmation for their sexual orientation or gender presentation. The staff and volunteers are trained to meet youth where they are, using harm reduction and empathy to understand what the youth need in that unique moment.

Between 200-250 youth visit the Q-Spot weekly for various services such as showers, food, much needed rest, laundry, and mental health respite. The Q-Spot is dedicated to maintaining community relationships, relying heavily on other organizations such as Wind Youth Services and The Gender Health Center to help serve Sacramento’s youth in the most loving and compassionate way possible.

Unfortunately, sexual assault and domestic violence happen in the LGBT community, too. When someone visits the Q-Spot because of sexual assault or domestic violence, the staff takes time to listen with compassion. They make sure the victim knows that they are valued and heard. Staff can also help victims find more resources in the community to aid them in their road to recovery.

In 2015, the Q-Spot was able to increase drop-in hours to better serve at risk and homeless youth thanks to a wonderful grant funded by the Sacramento County Mental Health Services Act (Prop 63), Innovation funds, and administered by Sierra Health Foundation: Center for Health Program Management. Due to this grant, the Q-Spot was also able to increase the Youth Program Coordinator’s hours to full time, provide funds to hire a lead facilitator for Wednesday and Friday groups, host drop-in hours, and perform much needed street outreach.

The Q-Spot envisions a Sacramento region where sexual orientation and gender identity and expression are recognized and affirmed.

Q-Spot drop-in hours for ages 13 to 23 are:
  • Monday – Friday: 3:00pm – 6:00pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: 11:00am – 5:00pm
  • Wednesday Night Group (ages 13-17)
    6:00pm - 7:30pm
  • Thursday: Youth of Color Group (ages 13-19)
    6:00pm - 7:30pm
  • Thursday: Twentysomethings Group (ages 20-29)
    8:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Friday Night Group (ages 17-21)
    7:00pm - 8:30pm
The Q-Spot is always seeking donations in the form of solar flashlights, socks, small denomination fast food or grocery gift cards (to help our homeless youth access hot meals), pre-packaged snacks and beverages, and daily bus passes to help our at risk and homeless youth access services.

Alysia Angel is a queer southern raised femme. She is an ethical extrovert who believes in using her outgoing powers for doing good and helping connect with all people. She has been active in the LGBTQI community for over 20 years, has much experience in queer youth and homeless outreach, harm reduction, non-violent communication, domestic violence awareness, and fundraising. She is a two time Lambda Literary Fellow, and a published writer in fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and essay. She is currently working on a graphic novel. Alysia knows no strangers and deeply loves all dogs. She can be reached at