Our mission is to provide a safe, healthy, and nurturing environment to inspire LGBTQ+ individuals and their allies to be themselves, to share in new experiences with new friends, and to engage in activities and opportunities that educate, promote, and unite our community.
Our History & Philosophy
How A Facebook Group Became An Organization
Coming to the Treasure Coast can be tough for many in the LGBTQ+ community, especially when they come from an area that has an established, centralized space. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic magnified the absence of such a space here in our community. During the crisis, many felt isolated and separated, but some were motivated to make a change that would impact the LGBTQ+ community for the better.
Prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, a small group of individuals created a virtual group on Facebook as a shared space for the community to connect. Later, as CDC restrictions were lifted, meetings were held in person and group gatherings face-to-face transpired. This virtual group became the foundation from which the Sanctuary was built upon.
The vision of an LGBTQ+ physical space, a building to call our own, became a recurring desire in many discussions. Such a goal requires significant support that only a nonprofit dedicated to a purpose can satisfy. The first, and most vital, of many steps in establishing a group as a nonprofit is to identify the mission.
A group of individuals that reflected the LGBTQ+ community came together and spoke that mission into existence. With conviction, we serve as a means by which the need to be oneself, feel safe, and live in a nurturing environment can be met with love and acceptance. The only way this can be possible is through engagement and unification of the community with all its quirks and brilliance. In other words, we believe that individuals – like you – must take some responsibility to continue the existence of our community and all the experiences, opportunities, resources, and services offered and obtained through it.
Representing Our Community
"PJ" Peggy J Ashley
PJ has been a Treasure Coast resident since '97, and hails from Miami ( Go Dolphins). PJ courageously came out as a teenager experiencing being disowned by their family, which fuels their dedication to supporting others in a similar journey. PJ is very passionate about The Sanctuary’s mission, they aspire to create a secure space for today and the future generations to come on the Treasure Coast.
PJ has 20 years of store and business management, and budgeting experience that they bring to the organization.
Donna currently works at the WPB VA Medical Center and has been there for over 18 years. She is also the executive VP of her local union. Donna is an activist and champion of Human Rights. She's a Florida native and came to Port St. Lucie in 2015.
Michelle is a Native to Florida born right here in West Palm Beach. Michelle has lived in Port Saint Lucie for 47 years and has watched this area become what it is today. Michelle loves the outdoors and can be found at the beach enjoy the waves and sun. Michelle has 3 beautiful children - 2 adult children 21 and 24 Her youngest starts high school this year. She works in the early childhood education field.
Laura Sellers McAllister
Laura, originally from Texas, settled in sunny Florida in 2009. She transitioned from a decade-long career as a stock trader and financial advisor to thrive in real estate for the past 10 years. An active community member, she served on the Board of Directors for the Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals and is currently on the Board of Directors for Florida Realtors.
Laura, with her deep understanding of LGBTQ challenges, advocates for equality and inclusion. She volunteers at The Sanctuary, shares her home with 6 Sphynx cats and a Dachshund, and enjoys poolside relaxation and pet photography in her free time.
Kristina is native to the Treasure Coast. She is a full time registered nurse and a single mother of three human children, 2 unruly canines, 3 cats (which she was tricked into!), and 2 ball pythons. In her free time she likes to plan cookouts, game nights, and dinners with her friends.ick Edit Text to make it yours.
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"Nolli" M. Rubio-McMillon
Nolli is a visual artist, author, certified arts educator, and founder of The Thought Society - a business with an intellectual and creative focus aimed at helping individuals and organizations develop and implement new concepts and strategies. Nolli brings 17 years of experience in business operations, community training, graphics technology, higher education retail, marketing, and youth mentorship to the Sanctuary. Nolli identifies as a gay cis-male and joins our board to enhance the lives and well-being of our community members.
The Sanctuary Board is searching for an events coordinator to design exceptional experiences for our members and bring the organization to the next level of community involvement.
The Sanctuary Board is searching for a historian to collect, organize, and supply data, images, videos, and more for the organization.