VPART Violence Prevention and Response Team

Are you an LGBTQ+ community member who has been a victim of violence?  Do you know someone who’s been a victim of violence?

If so please reach out to us and we can connect you with our VPART Violence Prevention and Response Team.


The DC LGBTQ+ Community Center VPART Intake Form

You can either call The DC LGBTQ+ Community Center at 202-682-2245
Email us at info@thedccenter.org
Or meet us in person @ 2000 14th Street NW, Suite 105, Washington, DC 20009


The Violence Prevention Response Team also known as VPART is a collection of community organizations and government agencies that work together to address, reduce, and prevent crimes (particularly hate-bias) within and against the LGBTQ+ Community in the District of Columbia. The team members effectively respond to instances of violence, they create awareness, educate the community, connect victims to resources, provide training and enhance responses to crimes.  Along with offering trauma-informed therapy and casework, The DC LGBTQ+ Community Center directly supports LGBTQ+ survivors with our vast slate of life and human services as well connects LGBTQ+ survivors to legal assistance, mental health services, shelter assistance, and other resources victims of violence may need. If you are LGBTQ+ and are a victim of violence, or know someone who is, you can refer them to the DC LGBTQ+ Community Center and we will make sure they are supported and connected to the resources they need. 

The VPART Program is supported by the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs.







Meet the Staff: Jocelyn

Photo of Jocelyn Jacoby in a grey shirt with a blue background. Photo is centered over rainbow background with geometric shapes.

Welcome Jocelyn Jacoby (she/her) to the DC Center! Jocelyn is a Licensed Graduate Social Worker and will be joining the DC Center as the Anti-Violence Program Director and Psychotherapist. Jocelyn’s background is in managing victim hotlines and she is grateful for a position to directly serve LGBTQ+ survivors of trauma in her community of Washington, DC. She is excited to join the Behavioral Health Services team and to meet all the activists involved with the Anti-Violence Project. Jocelyn especially looks forward to working in a place that is openly queer and the opportunity to create a safe space for those in crises. You can meet Jocelyn at the DC Center on weekdays and some evenings. 

Birthdate, Astro Sign

July 5th: Cancer Sun, Libra Moon, and Sagittarius Rising. 


Where are you originally from? 

I was born in California, raised in Montgomery County, Maryland, and my family has lived in NYC for the past decade. 


Why did you start working at the DC Center? 

In Hebrew, tikkun olam roughly translates to “repair the world” and is a signature theme of Jewish tradition. I am always looking for mission-based work that aligns with my values and gives me meaning. I was thrilled by the opportunity to join the DC Center in  educating, empowering, uplifting, celebrating, elevating and connecting the LGBTQ+ community of Washington, DC. This position was especially exciting to me because it combines advocacy and program management opportunities along with clinical services. It is my belief that I can better understand the needs of LGBTQ+ trauma survivors by working at the individual level alongside the community level.


What has been your favorite part about working at the DC Center?

My favorite part of working at the DC Center has been getting to know the staff members and the wonderful work they do. It is such an honor to be part of this group. 


What is your music anthem? 

Having just received my Spotify Wrapped, I can confirm with data that my most listened to artist is Lorde. Once the weather starts warming up, I am listening to Solar Power on repeat. In the darker months, I am more likely to be listening to Liability on Melodrama. 


What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community? 

My first instinct was to say resiliency, however, I hesitate because resiliency forms through adversity. I hate the expectation that those who face oppression and hardship have to be resilient. We should be allowed to be soft, to be taken care of. So instead of resiliency I will say joy. Yes the joy in the face of hardship, but also the joy fostered by kinship, art, and unique individuality. My wish is that this queer joy can exist in a world that does not challenge it. 


What is your favorite spot in DC and what do you do there? 

I adore living in Washington, DC and have many favorite spots. I love being able to be in a city and also escape into nature. The U.S. National Arboretum in particular holds a special place in my heart. I try to visit throughout all the seasons. I sit and admire the foliage in autumn and smell the flowers in the spring. I take friends and show them how expansive and peaceful it is. 


What is your favorite queer movie?  

Two of my favorite queer movies are But I’m a Cheerleader and Paris is Burning. I love the camp and aesthetic in But I’m a Cheerleader and the queer history and incredible vogueing shown Paris is Burning. 


What color would you paint the White House, given the chance?  

Pink! If I was in charge, basically everything would be pink. I can add Pink by Lizzo as a newer music anthem in my life. Barbie core has been fabulous and I will continue to choose everything pink even after it is out of style.


Who do you look up to in the queer community?

There are so many historical and current queer activists and icons that I look up to. Two I want to highlight are Audre Lorde and Victoria Cruz. Being exposed to Audre Lorde’s work nearly a decade ago played a foundational role in my feminist and queer identity. Her intersectional approach to confronting injustices is one I have tried to internalize along with her emphasis on love. Victoria Cruz is an LGBTQ+ and anti-violence activist whose entire career has been an inspiration to me. She is well known for organizing alongside iconic activists such as Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. She also served as a Domestic Violence Counselor and Advocate at the NYC Anti-Violence Project. I can only hope to emulate the work she’s done with LGBTQ+ trauma survivors. 

We Are Moving!!! Read Our Press Release About Our New LGBTQ+ Community Center

Street view of the outside of the DC Center's New Space

We’re so excited to share the big news!

We’re Moving!

Check out all the details about our new location in our press release and watch this space for more details to come!

This amazing next chapter in our LGBTQ+ community members lives needs your support!

Please click here and donate what you can to help support the creation of our new space!

Click here to read our press release


  • thumbnail of the press release



Rendition/Photo Credit: Hickok Cole, our architects on this project

How to Recognize and Handle Workplace Discrimination

Steps LGBTQ Workers Can Take If They are experiencing Discrimination in the workplace

LGTBQ+ people are subjected to harassment and discrimination at work every day but most
are too afraid to report their employers. They may need their jobs and worry about how they
would make ends meet if they got fired. Or they may be worried about retaliation if their
employer is held accountable for the discrimination and harassment. But you should know
that if you are LGBTQ+ you have a legal right to work in a place where you feel safe and are
not discriminated against.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act contains workplace protections against harassment and
discrimination. Title VII says that employers can’t discriminate against people based on where
they are from, their race, their sex, or their religion. The Supreme Court said that the
protections of Title VII also apply to LGBTQ+ people. It’s a Federal crime for employers to
discriminate against or harass you.
If you’re experiencing discrimination at work because you’re LGBTQ+ you can file a complaint
with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC was created to help protect
workers from harassment and discrimination. And the EEOC has an agreement in place with 44
states to share information about employers with the state labor boards in those states. That
means if you live in one of those states and file a complaint the state will receive copies of
any documents that you file with the EEOC.
Examples Of Workplace Discrimination
The most often reported types of discrimination that LGBTQ+ people face are:
Not Getting Raises Or Promotions
If you have not received a regularly scheduled raise or a promotion that you have earned but
other people have received raises or promotions that is usually due to discrimination. You may
also start receiving negative performance reviews only when a raise or an opportunity for a
promotion comes up.

Insults, Slurs, or Offensive Questions
If your coworkers are telling offensive “jokes”, using slurs for LGTQ+ people, passing around
offensive imagery, or in any other way making you feel unsafe or targeted at your job that’s
not allowed. You’re not being “too sensitive” even if they say you are. That’s discrimination
and you don’t have to tolerate it.
Misgendering you on purpose
If you’re a transgender person and have made your preferred pronouns clear but your
coworkers or boss refuse to use your correct pronouns or if they insist on using your dead
name even though you have made it clear you don’t go by that name that’s discrimination.
Filing A Workplace Discrimination Claim
Before you file a complaint with the EEOC you need to give your employer an opportunity to
stop the discrimination. There is a chance that they might not be aware of what you are going
through. So you need to create a detailed list of all of the experiences of discrimination and
harassment that have happened to you. Make sure that you include what happened and who
was involved as well as when it happened. Then present that list to your boss and demand
that they take action. If your boss doesn’t want to help you or seems reluctant to hold anyone
accountable, then you can go to the EEOC’s website to file a complaint.

You can also file a claim on the local level too level as well. In Washington, D.C., you can file
a discrimination complaint with the DC Office of Human Rights. Your claim on the state level
will also be dual-field with the EEOC and vice versa, so you don’t need to send the same
application twice.
Penalties For Discrimination
When employers violate the Civil Rights Act there are stiff penalties. Your employer could
have to pay fines of more than $10,000 or face criminal charges. If you were denied money
because you weren’t given a promotion or a raise you were owed you could receive a lump
sum of money for back pay. You also could receive money for pain and suffering.

DC Center Reopening FAQ

As we reopen, the DC Center is doing our best to meet the needs of our community while creating a safe environment for our staff, volunteers, and visitors. Please see below some of the information available about our space, our meetings, and other questions. We will update this information as necessary as the situation changes or we understand better what information people are looking for.


What are The DC Center’s hours of operation?

  • Mondays through Fridays from 12pm to 6pm
  • Saturdays from 11am to 3pm
  • Sundays are closed

After 5 pm on weekdays or on Saturdays, please enter from the side of the building (facing U Street) and state that you’re coming to the DC Center to the security team, who will let you in.


Are support groups/meetings meeting in-person, virtually or hybrid?

Based on surveys and conversations with peer group facilitators and participants, we are offering a hybrid (physical with webstation for Zoom), completely virtual, and in-person only, at each groups’ discretion. The information is available on the event sign-up for each group (easily found via: thedccenter.org/calendar)


Which groups/meetings, and when, are offering a hybrid (in-person with webstation) meeting option? (This list subject to change as groups choose to return to the DC Center’s offices)

2nd Fridays: WiTT from 8 – 9 pm

2nd Saturdays: GenderQueer from 1 – 3 pm (in-person only)

4th Wednesdays: Job Club from 6 – 7 pm.

4th Wednesdays: Ace/Aro Peer Support Group from 7 – 8:30 pm.


Which groups/meetings, and when, are offering a virtual (Zoom) only meeting option?

Any groups not listed above are meeting virtually.


Can I just walk-in to participate in a hybrid support group/meeting?

Currently, the Center is unable to accommodate walk-ups for peer support groups. Registration in advance will be required for peer support group meetings. Information in this regard will be circulated among peer support group leaders and participants as well as be listed on the Center’s website. This is to help make sure the room is not over-crowded.


Are therapy meetings still being offered at the Center?

At this time mental health therapy groups and sessions are available virtually (via HIPAA compliant Zoom) or in person. Therapy locations will be chosen based on conversations between clients and therapists, based on comfort/safety and availability.


When is the Center expected to open back up and what are some of the processes?

  • Monday through Friday 12 to 6pm; Saturday 11 to 3pm.
  • CyberStations are available via three computers.
  • Mental Health services are available either virtually or in-person based on client/therapist decisions.
  • New and expanding clothing closet and food pantry for those in need of clothes and food.
  • The Art Gallery is opening while the office is open.

Now that the Center is reopening again, what kind of opportunities are available for those in the community who would like to get involved?

  • The best way to stay current with the Center’s activities is to subscribe to our newsletter via our website which comes out every week. This includes volunteer opportunities, information about art installation, monthly programs, and all different social media accounts to get news updates.
  • Volunteers wanting to become a support group facilitator are provided with the necessary training.
  • Joining a support group is the best way to stay connected to the Center and others in the community.
  • There is an events volunteer list to help in events like help preparing to open before events.
  • Members of the community can also join a board committee to help and learn how the Center works.


What will be the mitigation efforts to reopen the Center back safely?

  • The DC Center asks that if you are feeling ill, please wear a mask in our space.

Are masks required at the Center?

  • The DC Center asks that if you are feeling ill, please wear a mask in our space.


What kind of sanitation procedures will be implemented to prevent the spread of the COVID-19?

  • A sanitation station that includes wipes/sanitizer and masks are available to community members.
  • Air purification system will be provided for various spaces within the Center.


If rates of COVID continue to rise in DC will the Center remain open?

  • Federal and local guidelines will be closely monitored and adhered to, up to and including closing the Center due to an increase in COVID cases in the DC area to ensure the safety of our employees and constituents.

¡Bienvenido/Welcome Michele Johns, LGSW!

Michele Johns, LGSW, Therapist

!Bienvenido a Michele al DC Center/Welcome Michele to the DC Center!

Michele joined us in 2021 as one of our trauma-informed, licensed mental health clinicians. Michele speaks English and Spanish. We are very excited to have Michele on the DC Center team!

Here is some info about Michele:

I love working with staff, volunteers, and folks who connect to The DC Center.  The DC Center is an exciting place that invites and welcomes and nurtures authenticity and creativity – and real and lasting connections – through art, community, therapy, education, and advocacy.

I enjoy leading groups, working individually with folks, and connecting to the other aspects of the Center – like the open mics, art, and movie gatherings.

I look forward to bringing my full self to The DC Center – my queer, social justice-y, artistic, therapist, religiously trained, Spanish-speaking, nature-loving, pet-loving self!


Birthdate, Astro Sign:

–October 2, Libra


Why did you start working at the DC Center?

–I wanted to be a part of a dynamic, creative, authentic, place doing real and transformative work with and for our LGBTQ+ community!


What has been your favorite part about working at the DC Center?

–Collaboration with amazing, creative, and dynamic team and working with folks who come to The DC Center for connection, care, and healing!


What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?

–We are resilient and creative!  We know pain and we know how to have a great time!  We know how to make joy come alive!  We know how to make sparkling lemonade out of dry lemons!  We know how to create and recreate family and community, to rise from the ashes and live in vibrant color!


What color would you paint the White House, given the chance?

–Rainbow, of course!!


Who do you look up to in the queer community?

–There are so many I look up to with deep gratitude and respect.  I look up to the artists – who birth creations that touch souls and transform minds.  I look up to those who led uprising and were then ignored and discarded.  I look up to those who were closeted in order to survive and were quiet revolutionaries.  I look up to courageous leaders in spiritual and religious settings who name truths of the inherent worth and dignity of each person.  I look up to the amazing performers in “Pose” – who have fought to be where they are and transform lives with their audacity to live their lives out loud!  I look up to children and youth of today, many of whom have more freedoms to be themselves – and to the adults and caregivers around them who are following the lead of the children, rather than imposing rigid norms of how and who to be.

Undetected: More Than A Status

In honor of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and Black History month,  join us  for our special programing highlighting the strengths and weaknesses in the black community and how we move forward – together – stronger . will be a having a candid talk about how HIV and Stigma affects the black community , paneled by local and national activist from around the United States. One of our panelist is Shawnte Spriggs, Shawnte Spriggs is a phenomenal speaker, writer and advocate who continues to do phenomenal work in the Black community for individuals living with HIV. From facilitating support groups and attending grant meetings to the birth of her prolific book, Undetected: More Than A Status, Shawnte has continued to battle HIV stigma towards advancement of the Black community. Below is a quick synapsis of her book. For individuals who join our programming, we will be offering free copies of her inspirational book.

Undetected is a quick and easy read to help better understand the emotional challenges and outcomes a person living with HIV can undergo during their journey to overall wellness. This book is designed for individuals diagnosed with HIV, their Friends and Family and anyone servicing people living with HIV. This book will: (1) Show you common emotions and mindsets associated with this diagnosis; (2) Review the effects of past and unresolved Trauma; (3)Share various ways support can possibly look for a person living with HIV; (4) Provide practical and healthy tips to render positive and productive results.

Purchase a Copy

Amazon link


We Are Closed In Observance Of Juneteenth


The DC Center will be closed on June 19, 2020 in observance of Juneteenth


to support the #StrikeForBlackLives. #BlackLivesMatter

If you are facing a life threatening situation or seeking immediate care:

DC Mobile Crisis: 202-673-9300
DC Shelter Hotline: 202.399.7093 or 311
Maryland Mobile Crisis: 240-777-4000
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860
LGBTQ under 25: Trevor Lifeline: 866-488-7386
LGBTQ National Help Center (all ages – various lines/hours): 888-843-4564 www.glbthotline.org


Adult Meal Programs in the District Available During Covid-19

Adult Meal Programs in the District Available During Covid-19

Updated March 20th, 2020


For more information on food assistance provided during the Coronavirus, go to the D.C. Food Policy Council website:



How to Sign up for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP):


The District’s SNAP program helps residents buy the food they need for good health. Individuals can apply for SNAP benefits through the D.C. Department of Human Services online or by calling (202) 727-5355. During COVID-19, all current SNAP recipients will be automatically re-certified.


How to Sign up for the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC):


WIC provides important services and nutrient-rich foods to pregnant women, infants, and children up to age 5. Individuals can apply for WIC through the D.C. Department of Health by calling 1(800) 345-1WIC.


Feeding Sites Serving Grab and Go Meals


  • Little Sesame in partnership with Dreaming Out Loud is offering meals for vulnerable communities at Kelly Miller Middle School Monday-Friday from 4:00-6:00pm at 301 49th St NE


  • N Street Village providing bagged breakfast 7:00-8:30am daily and bagged lunch from 12:00-12:30pm daily at 1333 N St NW


Food/Grocery Distribution Sites Offering Pre-packed Food Boxes


  • Allen Chapel AME Church on Fridays from 9:30am-12:00pm and the 1st, 3rd and 5th Wednesdays at 8:30am-10:30 am at 2498 Alabama Ave SE


  • Bread for the City offering groceries to medical patients with urgent care needs at NW center from 8:30 am-12pm (SW center is closed). NW center is located at 1525 7th St NW #3201


  • Father McKenna Center on Mon-Thursday 1:30 – 4:00PM at 19 I St NW, Washington DC


  • LaSalle Backus Education Campus on Fridays 12:00pm-2:00pm at 501 Riggs Rd NE


  • Martha’s Table at The Commons offers shopping on site once a month for produce and pantry items on Mon-Friday from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm, Tues 11:00 am – 6:00 pm at 2375 Elvans Rd SE


  • Martha’s Table Market at The Maycroft offers shopping on site once per month for fresh produce and pantry items on Mon-Friday from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm at 1401 Columbia Rd NW


  • Urban Outreach on Thursdays and Saturdays, 10:00am-2:00pm at 5343 C St SE. Call (202) 575-4867 for more information. Leave a voicemail and someone will contact you.


Free Meals at Community Kitchens


Community kitchens will offer lunches for those in need of a meal and will operate out of the restaurants’ side doors.


  • American Eats Tavern, 12 – 5 pm daily at 3139 M St NW


  • Jaleo, 480 7th St NW (Penn Quarter)


  • Oyamel Cocina Mexicana, 401 7th St NW


  • Zaytinya, 701 9th St NW


Additional Free Take Out Meals for Specific Adult Populations Food industry workers:


  • Hook Hall, daily 6-8 pm at 3400 Georgia Ave NW (Family meals and care kits also available)




  • Medium Rare is delivering free meals to the isolated senior community who are 70+ in DC, email mail@MediumRareRestuarant.com for information and to request a meal


Adult Meal Programs in the District Available During Covid-19


Updated March 20th, 2020


For more information on food assistance provided during the Coronavirus, go to the D.C. Food Policy Council website:




Hospital workers (with valid ID):

  • Rasa, free take-out meals for hospital team members and their families at 1247 First St SE


  • &Pizza, free pizza to hospital workers at Barracks Row, Chinatown, Dupont, E Street, H Street, Hotel Hive, K Street, U Street, Rayburn, Tenleytown, Potomac Yards (text 200-03 #Hero to obtain unique code)


Healthy Corner Discounts


To ensure that nutritious food is available in all DC neighborhoods, DC Central Kitchen’s Healthy Corners program is continuing operations and discounting fresh, whole fruits and vegetables up to 50%. Participating stores are below, and stores where you can get $5 for fresh produce when you use SNAP benefits are listed in bold.


A & S Grocery, 4748 Sheriff Road NE Anacostia Market, 1303 Good Hope Road SE
Ambo Market at 301 P ST NW Bodega Market, 1136 Florida Ave NE
BP Benning Marketplace, 4400 Benning Rd NE BP Blaire Gas Station, 7000 Blair Rd NW
Brookland Supermarket & Deli at 2815 7TH St NE Capitol Market, 2501 North Capitol St NE
Circle 7,1211 Mt.Olivet Road NE Crown Gas Station Florida Ave, 908 Florida Ave NW
DC Mini Mart, 1828 1st Street NW Dollar Plus Food Store (Penn Ave), 2529 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Dollar Plus Food Store (Bladensburg Rd.), 3182 Bladensburg Rd Dollar Plus Food Supermarket (Howard Rd.), 1453 Howard
NE Road SE
Economy Market, 1804 D St NE Elmira Grocery, 4401 South Capitol Street SW
Exxon Gas Station at 1601 New York Ave NE FlexCare Pharmacy, 3857 Alabama Ave SE
Fort Drum Market, 4868 MLK Jr. Ave SE G&G Grocery, 2924 Minnesota Ave SE
Good Food Market, 2006 Rhode Island Ave NE Grubb’s Southeast Pharmacy, 1800 MLK Jr Ave SE
Helen Mart, 4907 Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave NE Holiday Market, 3509 Wheeler Rd SE
Kwik Stop, 4801 Georgia Ave NW Langdon Market at 2409 Franklin St NE
Liff’s Market, 600 Alabama Ave SE Market 77, 3021 Georgia Ave NW
McKinley Market, 321 T Street NE Mellon Market, 2921 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE
Missouri Avenue Market, 5900 Georgia Ave NW MLK Mini Mart, 3333 MLK Jr. Ave SE
Neighborhood Market, 1611 Rhode Island Ave NE Newton Market, 3600 12th St NE
Night N Day 24 Hour Store, 5026 Benning Rd SE Northeast Supermarket, 1201 Mt Olivet Rd NE
Secrets of Nature, 3923 South Capitol St SW Shipley Super Market, 2283 Savannah Street, SE
Smiley Mart, 3019 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE Sonya’s Market, 2833 11th St NW
Starlight Food, 5424 5th St NW Sunbeam Market, 2324 North Capitol St NW
Texas Convenience Store, 4350 Texas Ave SE The Cupboard, 1504 East Capitol Street NE
T&G Grocery, 1727 North Capitol St NE Thomas & Sons Food Market 3425 Benning Rd NE
Toni’s Market, 5319 East Capitol Street SE Uptown Market, 2701 14th St NW
Wheeler Market, 4133 Wheeler Rd SE Z Mart, 1507 Kenilworth Ave NE


Unemployment Insurance Benefit Provisions Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)




“The DC Centers Community Engagement team is here to help you with any questions. Contact:  supportdesk@thedccenter.org “