The Center’s mission to create a region where LGBTQ people thrive and our work to support the health and wellness of the most marginalized, advocate for equality and justice, and build a culturally rich LGBTQ+ community remains our top priority in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As I shared with you last week, we cancelled all peer-led discussion groups, group activities, and community events through the end of March. As the largest LGBTQ+ service provider in our community, I realize the critical nature of the services we provide to the community. New guidance from the CDC and Departments of Public Health prohibit gatherings of any size and direct even lower risk community members to stay home to the maximum extent possible except when going to essential sites for things like food and medicine.
We therefore made the difficult decision, effective today, to suspend all in-person drop-in services and groups at the Center’s 1015 20th Street location as well as postpone or cancel all events through the first week of April.
While our physical space is closed, I want to assure you that we are still here to support you. I am very proud of our dedicated team who are diligently working to operationalize remote service delivery and virtual activities that we will be rolling out over the next week.
- Community Resource Navigation remains available for seniors, people experiencing homelessness, those living with HIV, and others in need, Information and referrals are available Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. by calling (916) 442-0185 or email@example.com.
- Sexual health and HIV/STI testing information is available by calling (916) 442-0185 ext. 109 or firstname.lastname@example.org. While social distancing 6-feet away from one another is recommended, free condom and lube packs are available outside the entry of the Center or you can order them for home delivery from our free P3 mail order program.
- Q-Spot Youth Center staff will be available for support and referrals 7-days a week 12-6 p.m. at (916) 287-7171 or email@example.com. They will also offer emergency drive-through/pick-up services. A new online queer youth platform on Discord will also launch this week where youth can chat with one another and find peer support.
- Our shelter, transitional living home, and host homes will remain open and continue to provide 24-hour care to LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness with remote case management.
- Crime Victim Emergency Services including shelter, counseling, or legal resources are available at (916) 287-7171 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Census Questionnaire Assistance is available by calling (916) 442-0185 or emailing email@example.com.
- Bilingual Services in Spanish and Transgender Support are available by calling (916) 442-0185 ext. 114 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We are working to bring some of our Peer Support Groups and 12-Step Addiction Recovery Groups online via the Zoom video conferencing platform as soon as the technology is in place.
We are continuing to keep everyone who works at the Center safe and healthy. Robust cleaning protocols and hand sanitizer stations have been in place in our facilities since last week and as of today, nearly all of our non-shelter staff are working from home. We continue to advise our whole community to wash their hands frequently, avoid face touching, stay home when sick, and only leaving the house when healthy for essentials.
Please take care of yourselves. Be kind to and support one another. If you have an older LGBTQ+ neighbor, a friend living with HIV, or a healthcare worker with kids out of school in your circle, check-in with them and ask if they could use your help.
We are a strong and resilient community when we work together. I will work to keep you updated on Center services, but you can visit our website, Facebook, and Instagram feeds for regular updates.