Local LGBTQ non profit receives James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award

The James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards recognize leaders whose innovative solutions to critical state challenges improve people’s lives, create opportunity, and contribute to a better California.
The Foundation spotlights these leaders, helps share their approaches with policymakers and peers, and provides each of their organizations with a grant of $350,000 and additional resources.

Brian Poth and Nick Vargas grew up in the rural town of Visalia where they both felt a constant struggle to find acceptance as LGBTQ youth. As young adults, they sought freedom and opportunity in big cities. When personal circumstances eventually called each of them home, they found themselves back in the same challenging environment they had worked hard to leave behind. After their paths crossed, Poth and Vargas decided to work together to build the community they so desperately needed and set out on a mission to create a safe space—in part so youth would not feel the need to escape as they did. They founded The Source LGBT+ Center in 2016.

“The Source gives people a place they can come and be themselves. You don’t have to go away to be gay. You can stay.”— Brian Poth

The Source is now the largest LGBT Center between Sacramento and Los Angeles and has provided services to over 24,000 individuals last year alone. The organization offers more than 30 programs including HIV prevention and support, youth leadership opportunities, transgender resources, a drop-in center, cultural competency trainings, and community events. Their innovative approach ensures that every LGBTQ+ individual in the area has access to the care and community they need to live healthy, fulfilling lives.

“The Source is more than just a community center; it’s a movement towards greater understanding, acceptance, and inclusion in a region where these values are most needed”— Nick Vargas


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *