Each month, the Hormel Center accepts collections that document LGBT life in the San Francisco Bay area. Sometimes a collection consists of several boxes of papers, T-shirts, buttons, and the like. At other times a collection is just a few manila folders.
This month Dr. Scott Wirth, a psychologist, donated 3 folders of material that documents the early history of Operation Concern. Operation Concern (OC) was the first counseling service established by LGBT people for LGBT people and their families in the Bay area. OC later merged with 18th Street Services to form New Leaf, which closed its doors on October 15, 2010.
Dr. Wirth's donation does not include client files but rather grant reports, grant proposals, fliers, brochures, notes, minutes, and talks. These documents show how the organization sought funding, how it was viewed by peers in counseling circles and the LGBT community, and how the staff approached the critical issues of a new-found clientele.
In October 2010, New Leaf donated several boxes of material, including a small portion on Operation Concern. Dr. Wirth's small but important donation helps to complete the picture of LGBT individuals recognizing a need and organizing a thoughtful response that would serve as a model for counseling centers around the country.
Because the Operation Concern collection is a very recent acquisition and not yet organized, it is not currently available for research. All Hormel Center archives are handled through the San Francisco History Center, 6th floor, Main Library. For questions, please contact the San Francisco History Center reference desk at 415-557-4567.
If you have archival material that documents some aspect of the LGBT experience in the San Francisco Bay Area, we'd like to hear from you. Please contact Karen Sundheim, the Program Manager of the Hormal Center, Main Library at 415-557-4566.