My FEATURE: AJ Huth and Empowering the Community Through The LGBTQ Center

My FEATURE: AJ Huth and Empowering the Community Through The LGBTQ Center

Jerry Carter

FEATURE recently had the opportunity to sit down with AJ Huth, the Director of Public Affairs and Civic Engagement at the LGBTQ Center of Southern Nevada. During this conversation, AJ, wearing our black Shining Colors tee, highlighted the incredible work and impactful initiatives of the Center.


The Center LV:

Hi, my name is AJ. I am the Director of Public Affairs and Civic Engagement at the LGBTQ Center of Southern Nevada. I'm here today with all of our staff, volunteers, patrons, and FEATURE


FEATURE Interviewer:  

How does The Center engage with the local LGBTQ+ community? What are some of the strategies that you guys use to ensure that their voices get heard and represented?


"So how we engage with the community is at the center we offer advocacy, health and wellness services. It's about listening to diverse voices in the community and being responsive. We do surveys and needs assessments, but it's really about our everyday work—listening to people, conveying their needs, and adapting as needed to stay on the cutting edge and fill any gaps in services."



What are some of the biggest challenges you guys face? And how do you plan to overcome the challenges?


"We're overcoming challenges like low visibility and safety concerns. With support from the Sands accelerator program, we're ramping up our marketing efforts. Collaboration with law enforcement ensures safety, especially in these divisive times. Through advocacy and education, we're making Las Vegas safer for LGBTQ individuals, including opening shelters to trans people. Our efforts are reshaping the landscape, creating a uniquely supportive environment."


I'm curious about more of the programs and services that you guys offer at the center. And how do you address the specific needs of the LGBT in Las Vegas?


"Our programs cover a wide range, from youth to seniors, providing a supportive community. We offer peer support for youth, and education for families through our Pivot program, ensuring better outcomes. Our success rate is 99.9%, keeping kids in school and at home. For seniors, we offer lunch and learns and host community groups like AAA and NA. Our clinic provides HIV prevention and treatment, including a pharmacy for immediate care. Education is key to ending AIDS, and our victim advocacy services, nationally certified, offer comprehensive support, including a 24-hour hotline during the pandemic."


How has the Center's mission evolved over the years and what impact are you hoping to achieve in the next five years?


"Over our 32 years in the community, we've evolved from a small gathering spot in a dentist's office to a vital resource center, initially responding to the HIV/AIDS crisis. Our mission remains to provide education, testing, and support in a safe, judgment-free environment, especially for young people. We're expanding with a new clinic and envisioning a full wellness center and standalone Youth Center."


How can individuals and businesses in Las Vegas support the center's initiatives? What opportunities are available now for volunteers and donors to get involved?


"We rely on volunteers and donors to sustain our work. Volunteers can sign up on our website, where we prioritize safety and ensure fulfillment in roles like staffing the front desk or assisting with events. Corporate volunteers are welcome too, engaging in activities like making hygiene kits. Donations are crucial; individuals can contribute cash online or donate auction items for our upcoming honorarium, our largest fundraising event of the year. We appreciate any support, whether big or small, to help us continue serving our community."



In our chat with AJ Huth from the Center LV, their dedication to the community shines through. From vital services to active advocacy, they're making a real impact. With a wide range of programs and a vision for expansion, they're poised to meet evolving needs. Volunteers and donors are essential to their mission. Whether by volunteering, donating, or contributing to their upcoming honorarium, everyone can play a part. To learn more, watch the interview on YouTube and join FEATURE in supporting their vital work.

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