For many in America, this is a lonely or frightening time. If you’re feeling isolated, reach out via phone to your local LGBTQ+ community center. They continue to serve their communities in various capacities and may be able offer you support.
I wanted you to know that as Congress continues to work on legislation to address the COVID-19 crisis, 100 national nonprofit organizations - including CenterLink - signed on to a letter requesting an infusion of financial support to help the most vulnerable, and to ensure our lawmakers do not forget nonprofits like LGBTQ+ community centers.
I have been touched to see community centers across the nation stepping up during this difficult time to continue to offer support to the LGBTQ+ community and beyond. They're seeing an increase in demand because people are finding themselves in situations where their employment is jeopardized due to facility closures or lack of available childcare, and their access to necessities is compromised. As during any time of crisis, the LGBTQ+ community will come together and serve the needs of the community.
Your community centers are providing services like quickly transitioning from in-person meetings to virtual support groups and tele-therapy, HIV testing, case management, delivering hot meals to LGBTQ+ older adults, assisting their employees with obtaining relief benefits, distributing canned goods and hygiene products to those who cannot find them in stores with empty shelves, updating their computer software to ensure best practices are being utilized when working with clients, offering their spaces as emergency shelters for homeless youth, and staying informed on the latest COVID-19 information in order to best serve their clients and staff.
Staff members are working long hours while caring for their own families. Important fundraising events have been cancelled or postponed, resulting in a substantial loss of income. Yet our LGBTQ+ community centers forge onward and continue to give back amid the challenges, just like they always have.
There is, and will be for months to come, a critical need for the services and supports that are best provided by thousands of nonprofits big and small, organizations with roots in their communities and with dedicated staff and volunteers passionate about their missions.
ActionLink: The Center Action Network