Newsfeed : San Jose’s Billy DeFrank LGBT Center Drops Paid Workers and Suspends HIV Testing

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September 2, 2009

San Jose’s Billy DeFrank LGBT Center Drops Paid Workers and Suspends HIV Testing

The Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center in San Jose announced September 1 it is cutting all paid staff and is suspending HIV testing for a short time due to a lack of funding, the Mercury News reports. Its budget had already shrunk from $650,000 to $310,000, while the total number of staff positions was cut from five to just 1.5. The organization has since lost a third of its existing budget—$100,000 in funding from Santa Clara County and San Jose.

According to the article, the center, which provides services to the local LGBT community, has been facing financial hardships for several months following the departure of its former executive director and former board president. Interim executive director Paul Wysocki had said the center would close unless it could raise $50,000 by September 1. Despite raising only 17 percent of that amount, it will remain open with a volunteer staff.

“The amount of revenue coming in will support keeping the doors open for all volunteers, but not pay for program staff,” Wysocki said. “We’re not thrilled about it, but it’s something we have to do.”

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