May 12, 2023 – San Diego, CA – The San Diego LGBT Community Center (The Center) and San Diego Foundation announced today a challenge grant that will match dollar-for-dollar fundraising up to $100,000 to support outreach and programming for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) youth in San Diego.

“At San Diego Foundation, we have a vision for just, equitable and resilient communities,” said Mark Stuart, President & CEO of San Diego Foundation. “Our work will not be complete until everyone who calls San Diego home has the opportunity to prosper, thrive and feel like they belong. This grant acknowledges The Center’s important work with LGBTQ-identifying youth and young people in our region.”

The challenge grant is contingent on The Center successfully raising $100,000 for its Hillcrest Youth Center, which opened in April. The challenge grant was announced at the Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast, hosted by The Center and held on Friday, May 12, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel.

“The San Diego LGBT Community’s Hillcrest Youth Center was established in 2000 as a drop-in resource center for high school youth, and since then we have expanded our services and now provide programs and support for youth ages 10 to 24,” said Caroline (Cara) Dessert, Esq., CEO of The San Diego LGBT Community Center. “After 22 years of renting space, the Hillcrest Youth Center will now have a forever home in Hillcrest, which provides more than double the space of our former location. San Diego Foundation’s recognition of our work is incredibly rewarding, and through its matching grant, we have the opportunity to help ensure that young LGBTQ people continue to have a safe space and the resources they need, right here in San Diego.”

Once The Center raises $100,000, the challenge grant will be awarded. The funds raised, including the challenge grant, will support programming and facility upgrades for the Hillcrest Youth Center. The Center’s Hillcrest Youth Center is the first drop-in and recreational center in San Diego County dedicated to the needs of LGBTQ and nonbinary youth, as well as youth living with HIV. The Hillcrest Youth Center offers safe space and affirming programming for high school youth, ages 14 to 18; middle school youth, ages 10 to 13; and transitional youth, from 18 to 24.

About The San Diego LGBT Community Center

The San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center, Inc., (d.b.a., The Center) is one of the largest and most vibrant LGBTQ community centers in the nation. Functioning as the San Diego LGBTQ community’s anchor organization, The Center is led by a 10-member board of directors, employs more than 115 paid staff, and utilizes more than 1,200 community volunteers to achieve its twin goals of promoting LGBTQ health/wellness and human rights. The Center provides targeted programs and services to the full diversity of the San Diego LGBTQ community, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender, nonbinary, immigrant, and HIV communities to the betterment of our entire San Diego region. The Center provides more than 80,000 direct service visits annually to San Diego community members, and through its events, activities, and advocacy, touches the lives of thousands more. For more information on The Center, visit and follow the nonprofit on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

About San Diego Foundation

San Diego Foundation inspires enduring philanthropy and enables community solutions to improve the quality of life in our region. Our strategic priorities include advancing racial and social justice, fostering equity of opportunity, building resilient communities, and delivering world-class philanthropy to realize our vision of just, equitable and resilient communities. The Racial & Social Justice Initiative supports policies and programs that seek to eradicate systemic discrimination. For more than 47 years, SDF and its donors have granted more than $1.4 billion to support nonprofit organizations strengthening our community. Learn more at


Lorena Nava Ruggero, San Diego Foundation,, 619-814-1365
Gus Hernandez, The San Diego LGBT Community Center,, 415-271-5961