30 Years of Compass: Who We Are
People always ask us what we do. It is a more difficult question to answer than you would think. We have many departments that all do amazing things.
In this video, we give a brief overview of the services we have provided to the community here at Compass for the last 30 years.
Palm Beach Pride 2019
Palm Beach Pride 2019 was our best year yet.
In this video, Julie Seaver talks about Compass' Pride festival and tells you why it's important to attend!
it gets better Project & Compass PSA
This past summer, Compass teamed with the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts to bring the it gets better Project to Palm Beach County.
This PSA was a result of the it gets better Cast working with the Compass Youth Program.
World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day was founded in 1988 with the purpose of uniting the world in the fight against HIV/AIDS. It was the first ever global health day and has provided a source of unity and action across the world.
To the right, members of our staff share their thoughts on World AIDS Day and the AIDS Memorial Quilt.
Real Convo with Alan Mednick
In November 2019, Julia Murphy and Michael Riordan, were guests on Alan Mednick's radio show RealConvo with Alan Mednick. The focus was suicide in the LGBTQ community. Together, they discussed reasons why suicide rates were so high in the community and shared resources for those struggling with suicidal ideation and depression.
If need someone to talk to, please consider the following numbers:
561-533-9699 (Compass Community Center)
Compass Impact Stories
Community Promise Stories
Helping Our Youth During COVID-19
June 10, 2020
Lake Worth Beach, FL -
The ongoing quarantine, cancellation of school, and stay at home orders have had a disproportionately negative impact on LGBTQ teenagers, who often depend on school and social support groups for safe places where they can be themselves without fear. Unfortunately, for many, home isn’t a safe space.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Compass’ physical location has been closed to the public since March 23; however, the LGBTQ community center for the Palm Beaches has continued to provide services to their clients and the community virtually through video chat and other technologies.
In particular, the youth and family program has been busier than ever. The young people who regularly attend Compass’ youth group, between the ages of 11 and 18, are struggling like many other school age children: they have had to adapt to schooling from home, a lack of social connection with their friends and, at times, outright hostility from their family or roommates.
“Everyone has encountered hardships during the pandemic, but LGBTQ+ youth have been really hurt by it,” explains Amanda Canete, Compass Youth Program Director. “For many of these kids, home is not a safe place. Imagine you are forced to be in a place that is openly hostile to you because of the person you are and there is literally nowhere you can go. It’s important for us to give our youth ways to still feel connected to each other, and to be able to get help.”
Within a week of closing the center to the public, Compass’ youth staff were hosting virtual youth group gatherings via Discord, a chat and video app the kids themselves prefer and selected together. On Wednesday and Friday evenings they meet up virtually with staff to talk, vent, and play online games together, like Skribbl.io, Jackbox, and Cahoot.
Another integral part of Compass’ youth program is the therapy program, funded primarily by Palm Beach County Youth Services Department, and a grant from the Miami-based Batchelor Foundation. The program offers group, individual and family mental health therapy sessions for youth clients. The sessions are provided by two therapists with decades of experience working with young people, specifically those who identify as LGBTQ.
The therapists also adjusted quickly to the virtual setting, and now offer two group sessions per week, as well as the individual sessions. They report that this works very well for many of the young people who otherwise have to worry about getting rides to the center for their appointments. Meeting from home, for them, is less stressful.
And these kids need less stress in their lives. According to The Trevor Project, a national LGBTQ+ youth suicide prevention organization, the lack of positive social interactions and ensuing loneliness can contribute directly to an increase in feelings of depression and anxiety, and thoughts about suicide. Many of the youth who take part in the youth therapy program do not have supportive home environments. Spending all of their time there, with no reprieve and no interaction with friends or supportive adults, also leads to higher rates in suicidal thoughts, depression and anxiety.
Additionally, recently awarded funding from The Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties will allow Compass’ therapists to serve their youth clients at the increased level currently required due to the pandemic. Compass is grateful to all our funders and individual donors for their support of the center’s many programs. Compass’ mission is to engage, empower and enrich the lives of LGBTQ people and those impacted by HIV and AIDS.
For more information, please contact Amanda Canete, Youth Program Director, at Amanda@CompassGLCC.com
Our New Board of Trustees
February 11, 2020
Lake Worth Beach, FL -
As we prepare to celebrate Pride in Palm Beach County, the ringing in of the new decade brings new leadership and a fresh perspective to the center and its programs.
During our board of trustees’ first meeting of 2020, long-time board member Michael Grattendick stepped down as board chair to make way for new and upcoming leadership to continue to thrive. For the past decade, Michael led the board and the agency through times both lean and prosperous, and provided a steadying perspective as the agency experienced successes and challenges typical of most nonprofits. Both the staff and board of Compass look forward to Michael’s continued support and attendance as a committed member of our community and attendee at upcoming signature events hosted by Compass.
Marc Pickering, elected as Compass’ new board chair, expressed his appreciation for Michael’s leadership. “This past year, Compass experienced unprecedented growth as we expanded services to meet the needs of more people than ever. Our mental health, youth, and HIV prevention programs have all increased in scope and impact and we are grateful for Michael’s commitment and leadership through this growth.”
At the same meeting, the board elected a new slate of officers. The officers of Compass’ board of trustees for 2020 are: Board Chair, Marc Pickering; Vice-Chair, Barry Hayes; Treasurer, Michael Woods; and Secretary, Kara Rosa, Esq. We on the staff look forward to a new year under the guidance of our dynamic and passionate board.
Nicholas Coppola was elected to join the board last fiscal quarter, and has connected with the community with a fresh perspective as a newer Florida resident. Nicholas is the Regional Director for the statewide Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus (area 5) and locally, the Rusty Gordon LGBTA Democratic Chapter. He has also served as volunteer Eucharist minister and educator for the St. Anthony’s parish in Oceanside, NY. His experience in governance in serving on the board of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York City lends knowledge to his passion for HIV and AIDS advocacy. Nicholas lives in Delray Beach with his husband, David.
Unfortunately, there is another change to our board that leaves us all with a heavy heart. Long-time friend to the community, and board member for the past year, Jan Myers, passed away on Monday, February 3rd, losing his battle with cancer. We cannot say enough about Jan’s contributions to this community as an ally, mentor, and friend. His calm and encouraging presence will be dearly missed. Jan’s celebration of life will be hosted at the center on Thursday, March 5th at 7pm and all are welcome to attend.
Compass Community Center is the only LGBTQ community center in Palm Beach County, and works to engage, empower and enrich the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people and those impacted by HIV and AIDS.