The Source LGBT+ Center (The Source) is excited to share their newly renovated location, including an interior redesign and courtyard expansion. Made possible by a $50,000 grant from Health Net, the updated center will serve as a place for their 3,000 yearly visitors to gather for events, learn about resources or just find a safe space to be themselves.
“In California, we celebrate and support our LGBTQ+ community’s right to live their lives out loud,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “I applaud The Source LGBT+ Center for their work to lift up LGBTQ+ people and their families in the Central Valley, and for making this resource even more accessible with this latest expansion. Their work is more important than ever as we push back on the forces of hate with our commitment to equality, acceptance and freedom for all.”
The Source made a historic move to their own building in October 2021, with over 4,800 square feet of space for support groups, client services, youth, volunteers and a dozen staff. They recently celebrated their anniversary, serving Tulare, Kings and Fresno County residents for seven years.
“Health Net is proud to support The Source in its work to create a safe space for all LGBTQ+ individuals,” said Nai Kasick, Vice President, Medi-Cal Regional Lead at Health Net. “We are excited to see residents use the new space and to witness how it will create a stronger, more connected community in Central California.”
“I’m honored to be part of the story of The Source and to see us grow from an idea to owning a campus in Downtown Visalia,” said Nick Vargas, Co-Founder and Director of Development at The Source. “The investment from our community partners, donors, and especially Health Net, has made it possible to have a space that our community can call home.”
The Source’s campus currently serves as a space to host over 14 groups, including seven non-Source community groups each week, such as LGBTQ+ Alcoholics Anonymous, Crystal Meth Anonymous, CenCal Lesbians and non-LGBTQ+ groups who have found a home at The Source. The new center renovations will allow The Source to increase group size indoors, accommodate group events outdoors, and create more accessible space.
“I join the City of Visalia and our neighbors in celebrating the reopening of the Source LGBT+ Center,” said Melissa Hurtado, California State Senator, District 16. “I applaud the Center’s team, Health Net, and all the community partners who coordinated on the remodel of the center to ensure its success in our region for many years to come.”
Located in the historic Lincoln Oval in Downtown Visalia, the campus provides workshops, support groups, educational meetings, mental health services and food distributions. Larry Micari, Tulare County Supervisor, District 1 said, “the Source is a valuable part of our nonprofit community in Tulare County providing services that no other organization does.”
It also includes a youth room, trans closet, food pantry, library (which holds the largest collection of LGBTQ+ literature in the Central Valley), HIV services and more.
“I’d like to congratulate The Source on the remodeling of their support center. The wide range of resources that this refurbished center will provide is critical to the health & development of the community,” said Devon Mathis, California State Assemblyman, District 33. “I’m proud of the partnership that my Office has with The Source and I thank Health Net for their generous investment for the residents of the Central Valley.”
“The Source is doing important work in Tulare County,” said Amy Shuklian, Tulare County Supervisor, District 3. “I’ve seen them grow from a grassroots organization to one that is improving the lives of our community. Tulare County contracts with The Source in some key health related projects such as HIV and STI education.”
In recognition of the support they provide the community, The Source has received various awards, including Non-Profit of the Year and Outstanding Queer Non-Profit. Multiple employees have also been recognized for their contributions, including the Community Leader of the Year awarded to Brian Poth, Executive Director, and Business Person of the Year awarded to Nick Vargas, Director of Development and Strategy.
“Community partnerships like the one with Health Net have helped build our organization,” said Poth. “The newly remodeled community center will be a place the LGBTQ+ people in Tulare/Kings Counties can call home.”
The entire community has a home at The Source. To learn more, visit TheSourceLGBT.org.