Save the Date: Introducing the Spahr Center! 5/21 at 4pm


Join us on May 21 at 4:00 pm for a ribbon cutting to introduce The Spahr Center: home of Spectrum LGBT Center and Marin AIDS Project. A reception will follow.

The event will take place at our offices at 910 Irwin Street in San Rafael.

More details to follow.

PRESS RELEASE: Spectrum LGBT Center and Marin AIDS Project to Merge


 February 2, 2015

Contact: Jennifer Malone, (415) 457-2487, ext. 104

 Spectrum LGBT Center (Spectrum) and Marin AIDS Project (MAP) to Merge Under a Single Umbrella Organization,
While Retaining Separate Programs and Services

The Boards of Directors of Spectrum LGBT Center (Spectrum) and Marin AIDS Project (MAP) have announced that the two longstanding Marin County human services agencies will merge under a common non-profit umbrella organization, while maintaining their separate programs and services. “Spectrum will remain Spectrum, and MAP will remain MAP,” said MAP’s Executive Director Jennifer Malone, “but by combining at the organizational level we will streamline administrative costs, enhance the services of both agencies and leverage our programmatic impact in the community”. Malone further notes that community input is being sought as the new organization proceeds with the merger process.

Malone explains that the merger is the culmination of leadership discussions held during the second half of 2014 that focused on ways the organizations could increase their impact and results through a shared organizational structure. In the new structure, Spectrum, MAP, and Irwin Street Counseling, MAP’s counseling program that serves the entire LGBTQ community, will maintain separate programs, services and networks of supporters. Spectrum’s programs for LGBTQ youth and older adults will continue and MAP will also continue its full array of programs and services as the organizations work in collaboration to support and enhance each other.

In addition to the merger, Spectrum is announcing a leadership change. Paula Pilecki has retired from her 16-year tenure as Spectrum’s Executive Director. She will continue to offer consultation and support through the transition and a Spectrum program manager will be hired in the near future. Ms. Pilecki will be honored for her years of leadership and achievement at a retirement party in March.

Jennifer Malone, Executive Director of Marin AIDS Project since 2004, will serve as Executive Director of the merged organization. The members of the boards of Spectrum and MAP will come together to form the board of the new organization which has yet to be named.

According to Malone, the merger can be seen as a reunion. Spectrum and MAP were each born from the vision of their shared founder, the Rev. Janie Spahr. In 1982 Rev. Spahr launched Ministry of Light, the first non-judgmental support services for LGBT people in Marin County which was later renamed Spectrum LGBT Center. In 1984, in response to the emerging AIDS epidemic in Marin County, she spearheaded the creation of the Marin AIDS Support Network which grew to become Marin AIDS Project.

At MAP’s 30th Anniversary Celebration in October, Rev. Spahr spoke, saying while much has changed since the early 1980s, much remains the same and “the work is not done”! Malone says it is with this knowledge that the merged organization dedicates itself to serving the Marin community.

 For more information about the work of both organizations, visit, and


ANNOUNCEMENT: Spectrum and Marin AIDS Project Merge

January 30, 2015

Dear Friends,

Over the past year, the boards of Spectrum and Marin AIDS Project (MAP) have been evaluating new ways to increase both the impact and results of our organizations through the concept of a shared organizational structure. As a result, this month both boards voted to merge our two pioneering organizations with the goal of supporting and strengthening their existing programs and services.

In our new structure, Spectrum, MAP, and Irwin Street Counseling, MAP’s expanded counseling program now serving the entire LGBTQ community, will maintain separate identities. Spectrum’s existing services and activities, including support programs for LGBTQ youth and older adults, will continue and hopefully expand as our organizations work in collaboration to support and enhance each other.

We want to extend our deepest appreciation to all of Spectrum’s and MAP’s donors and supporters. It is because of your very generous and devoted support that our organizations have been able to survive over the past 30 years and continue our vitally important work. Going forward, we want to assure you that gifts from Spectrum’s donors are being, and will be, restricted solely for Spectrum’s use. Gifts from MAP’s donors will also be restricted for the exclusive support of MAP’s programs.

With this announcement also comes a leadership change. Paula Pilecki has chosen this time to retire from her 16-year tenure as Spectrum’s executive director. She will continue to work with us to ensure a smooth transition and we anticipate hiring a program manager for Spectrum in the near future. We are looking forward to honoring Paula for her years of leadership and achievement at a retirement party in March.

As we move forward we want to engage our community of supporters in helping us build this new partnership. We value your input, so please feel free to reach out to any of us at any time with your thoughts, ideas and suggestions. We hope our restructured organization and its board will have your continued support.

With our thanks and warm regards,


Marshall Grimes, President
Spectrum LGBT Center


Dennis Elder, President
Marin AIDS Project

JM's signature2


Jennifer Malone, Executive Director
Marin AIDS Project and
Interim Executive Director
Spectrum LGBT Center

Spectrum Moves!

Spectrum’s new home is located at 912 Irwin Street, between Third and Fourth Street in San Rafael. Our website, email, and phone number will remain the same (with the exception of a few extension changes).

Though our new mailing address is 912 Irwin Street, entrance to the building is at 910 Irwin Street. The reception is open from 9 am – 5 pm, Monday through Friday. There is a small parking lot in back of the building, and there is 2 hour street parking on surrounding streets (unrestricted after 5 pm). Visitors should be aware that parking lots belonging to neighboring buildings are off limits and you will be ticketed and/or towed if you park there during normal business hours.

Spectrum LGBT Center
912 Irwin Street
San Rafael, CA 94901
(415) 472-1945

Our website, email and telephone number (with the exception of extensions) have not changed.

We hope to see you soon in our new location!

SCOTUS BLOG: Same-sex marriage petitions denied

October 6, 2014

This morning the Court issued additional orders from its September 29 Conference. Most notably, the Court denied review of all seven of the petitions arising from challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage. This means that the lower-court decisions striking down bans in Indiana, Wisconsin, Utah, Oklahoma, and Virginia should go into effect shortly, clearing the way for same-sex marriages in those states and any other state with similar bans in those circuits. Indeed, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (who had declined to defend his state’s ban on same-sex marriage) indicated this morning on Twitter that, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the mandate in the Virginia cases would issue at 1 p.m., at which point “marriages can then begin.”

Read more here.

YouthAware Educational Theater offers Diversity Education and Bullying Prevention Appropriate for Grades 6-12

OUTSPOKEN is an innovative play for middle and high school audiences. This original YouthAware script has been touring Northern and Central California schools since 2005, The play examines the many reasons teens are ostracized and bullied in school including race, religion, actual or perceived sexual orientation, and body type. OUTSPOKEN helps teens think and dialogue about oppression, stereotypes, labeling, and respect for differences within their own school and community.

OUTSPOKEN: By Prince Gomolvilas, Directed By Sara Staley

Touring Northern and Central California  

Middle and High Schools  October 14th – December 11th

To learn more about this program, click here.

USA TODAY: LGBT-friendly senior housing opening across U.S. cities

CHICAGO — In his younger days, Ed Lund struggled to live openly as a gay man.

But as Lund, 69, enters his golden years, he has found a place where he is certain he will be comfortable. He’s among the charter residents moving into the newly opened Town Hall development in Chicago, one of the first affordable, LGBT-friendly housing communities for the elderly in the country.

“This feel likes home,” says Lund, who came out as a gay man during the AIDS epidemic and lost his job of 15 years in the early 1980s after his boss learned his sexual orientation. “As you get older, it just feels more comfortable to be around people who understand and share your background. It’s also nice not to have worry about letting something slip out.”

As lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people age, cities and LGBT advocates are grappling with how to deal with the needs of a generation that came out of the closet in more complicated times.

Perhaps the most sensitive issue for older gays and lesbians, particularly the poor, is housing discrimination. LGBT advocates also lament that the country’s elderly-care services haven’t evolved as quickly as the general population, which national polls show is increasingly accepting of gays and lesbians.

Communities are addressing the issue.With the opening of Town Hall, which had more than 400 applicants for 79 studio and one-bedroom apartments, Chicago became the third city in the USA since last year to open housing catering to low-income LGBT people.

Read more here:

Coffee, Conversation, and Community: Drop-In Discussion Groups for LGBT Seniors

There are several social drop-in discussion groups available in the counties of Marin, Sonoma, and Napa that are special places for LGBT older adults. What constitutes an ‘older adult’ you ask? We leave that up to you, but attendance is typically people whose age is anywhere between 50 and 100.

Following is a general description of each group. All are free of charge to attend, and all occur on a monthly basis. You are welcome to visit any group that appeals to you, regardless of where you live. Since these are drop-in groups, you may come once or each time. You do not need to be a member or join anything. These are NOT therapy groups.

Descriptions have been provided by the facilitators of each group. Unless specified otherwise, Spectrum is not responsible for the content or management of any group.


When: Second Wednesday of each month, 12:00 – 2:00 PM
Where: Novato Human Needs Center, 1907 Novato Blvd., Novato   •  (415) 897-4147
Brown Bag Lunch (optional) 12:00 PM to 12:30 PM – Coffee and Cookies Provided
Facilitated Discussion 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM

Facilitated by Nancy Flaxman, MSW

View/Download August 2014 Flyer

Description: We gather informally for a brown bag lunch (optional) and then follow with a different topic for discussion each month. Whether you are in the closet or out, partnered or single, shy or outgoing, we hope you will join us for this opportunity to get to know each other and build community.

This group is made possible by the Novato Human Needs Center commitment to LGBT inclusion, by a grant from Marin Community Foundation, and by outreach assistance from Spectrum LGBT Center.
The Novato Human Needs Center values diversity. Whatever your ethnicity, religion, country of origin, language, abilities, sexual orientation, or gender, you are welcome here.


When: First Tuesday of each month, 10:15 am – 12:00 PM
Where: Queen of the Valley Community Center, 3448 Villa Lane, Napa
10:15 AM to 10:30 AM: Arrival, coffee and pastries provided

Facilitated Discussion 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Facilitated by Paula Pilecki, Executive Director, Spectrum LGBT Center

Description: Napa’s first discussion group for LGBT older adults is now in its third year! Join us for a very casual, fun, and relaxed group discussion with different topics each month. There is often a film featured, followed by relevant discussion. Plenty of street & lot parking, wheelchair access, and located on major transportation routes. Whether in the closet or not, we’re discreet and confidential. For more information, call 707-583-2330 (24 hour confidential voice message line, checked regularly).

This group is made possible with funding from Napa County Health and Human Services, and hosted in partnership with LGBTQ Connection Napa and Spectrum LGBT Center.


When: Fourth Tuesday of the month, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
>Where: Glaser Center at UUCM, 547 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa
Social time 1:00 – 1:30 PM; facilitated discussion 1:30 – 3:00 PM
Facilitator: Rotates on a volunteer basis
The group is not affiliated with any religious denomination.

Description: Join us for lively discussions, mutual support, sharing information, and all the while celebrating who we are. Everyone is welcome; there is no charge. Whether you’re in the closet or out, you are welcome!

SONOMA COUNTY: City of Sonoma

When: Third Friday of the month, 10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon
Where: Vintage House Senior Center, 264 1st Street East, Sonoma

Social time 10:00 – 10:30 AM; facilitated discussion 10:30 – 12:00 Noon

Coordinators: Gary “Buz” Hermes (707) 227-6935 and Janice Farrell (415) 608-5792

Description: All ages and abilities welcome! Come join us and feel free to bring a friend or neighbor. After the group, some of us go to lunch at a local restaurant.

Eden Youth Foundation Scholarship Welcomes LGBTQ Applicants

The Eden Youth Foundation Scholarship invites applications from entering and continuing undergraduate students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer.

Applicants must be 24 years old or younger. The scholarship is open to students enrolled at or entering accredited 2- or 4-year institutions.

The application deadline is May 4, 2014. Click here for application info:

Public Input Sought on Plan for Serving Marin Seniors

Want to have a say on how the County serves Marin’s older adults? Attend the public hearing for public comment on this year’s update to the Marin County Area Plan for Aging:

Thursday, April 10, 2014  •  10am-11am
San Rafael Community Center – Club Rooms
618 B Street, San Rafael

The Area Plan guides the of of the Area Agency on Aging in Marin County and its advisory council, the Commission on Aging.  Strategies will be presented to address and respond to the needs of Marin’s older adults.  The Commission seeks community input. Please come.

Download the event flyer here (PDF).

A draft of the Area Plan for 2012-2015 Update is posted on the Marin County Health & Human Services, Aging and Adult Services’ website.

For more information about the Marin County Commission on Aging call: 415-473-7118 or visit: