¡Bienvenido/Welcome Michele Johns, LGSW!

Michele Johns, LGSW, Therapist

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

Michele (she/her) is a therapist/advocate at the DC Center. Michele joined us on a part-time contract earlier in 2021, but this summer has accepted a full-time position as one of our trauma-informed, licensed mental health clinicians! Bonus: Michele speaks English and Spanish. We are very excited to have her on the DC Center team!

You can meet Michele at the DC once it is safe to return to the Center in-person, but for now, read on to learn about our newest team member.

I love working with staff, volunteers, and folks who connect to The DC Center for community, care and creativity.  The DC Center is an exciting place that invites and welcomes and nurtures authenticity and creativity – and real and lasting connections – through art, therapy, education, and advocacy.  I really look forward to being able to gather in person at The DC Center – and until then, will continue to seek and soak up the virtual connections!

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, pet-loving self!

Birthdate, Astro Sign:

–October 2, Libra

 

Where are you originally from?

–born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama.

 

Why did you start working at the DC Center?

–because I got lucky!!!  I wanted to be a part of a dynamic, creative, authentic, place doing real and transformative work with and for our LGBTQ+ community!  It is an amazing place!  I am fortunate to be a part of The DC Center!

 

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

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

 

What is your music anthem?

–I love music!  Life could and maybe should be a musical!  So picking one song or album is really hard.  I love “Rise Up” (Andra Day) and “This is Me” (Keala Settle and “The Greatest Showman Ensemble”) and Joy Oladokun’s latest album!  And I am a longtime fan of The Indigo Girls, Ani DiFranco, and Maná!

 

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

–there are so many great spots in DC!  I love exploring Rock Creek Park, the museums, and hanging out around U Street.

 

What is your favorite queer movie?

–“Pose” (not a movie, but, yes!  Wow!!)

 

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

–rainbow, of course!!   With colors in the Progress Pride flag.

 

Who do you look up to in the queer community?

–there are so many I look to with deep gratitude and respect.  I look to the artists – who birth creations that touch souls and transform minds.  I look to those at Stonewall who let the uprising and were then ignored and discarded.  I look to those who had to live in the closets in order to survive and were quiet revolutionaries.  I look to courageous leaders in spiritual and religious settings who name truths of the inherent worth and dignity of each person.  I look to the amazing performers in “Pose” – who have fought to be where they are and have transformed lives from their audacity to live their lives out loud!  I look to children of today, with more freedoms and choices of who to be and how to be – and to the adults 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.

Summary: 
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

and

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:

https://dcfoodpolicy.org/resources/coronavirus/

 

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)

 

Seniors:

 

  • 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:

 

https://dcfoodpolicy.org/resources/coronavirus/

 

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 DISTRICT’S UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE (UI) SYSTEMS ARE CURRENTLY
UNDERGOING MODIFICATIONS TO ADDRESS THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE
RECENTLY PASSED CARES ACT. THEY ARE WORKING EXPEDITIOUSLY TO CREATE NEW
INTERNAL PROCESSES, MODIFY THEIR CURRENT TECHNICAL SYSTEMS, TRAIN STAFF,
AND CONDUCT USER ACCEPTANCE TESTING BEFORE ADMINISTERING THE NEW
PROGRAMS CREATED BY THE CARES ACT. SEE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS BELOW:

DOES_CARES Act FAQs

 

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

Expansion of Unemployment Insurance Benefits under the New CARES Act

The federal government recently passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act),
which includes an expansion of unemployment insurance benefits for District of Columbia workers.
While the CARES Act was signed into law by the President on March 27, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor
is still in the process of releasing corresponding guidance to provide states with operating, financial and
reporting instructions specific to the CARES Act of 2020 through the issuance of a series of Unemployment
Insurance Program Letters (UIPLs). Like most other states, the District’s Unemployment Insurance system is
currently being updated to enable processing of the new CARES Act programs.
A summary of the expanded unemployment insurance programs offered through the provisions of the CARES
Act is provided in the link below:

Expansion of Unemployment Insurance Benefits under the New CARES Act

 

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

Center Global Asylees Face Extraordinary Pandemic Threats

#queertranscaravan

Greetings,

Center Global participants live in a tenuous job, housing, and healthcare context. They are largely unqualified for federal supports during COVID-19, placing them in greater danger and despair.

Many have lost well-earned jobs and under increasing pressures to pay rent and living expenses as their work hours and job options evaporate in this pandemic economy.

On March 28th, Center Global and the DC Center launched the COVID-19 Emergency Support Program. We created it to a) establish a fund to assist with COVID-19-related expenses and b) reach out and check on our participants’ wellbeing. 

In less than a week, we received 25 applications with requests of over $16K for help with rent, medical expenses, food, and transportation.

We’ve been able to support approximately 60% of our immediate requests, realizing more will arrive as the virus’s impacts spread. Experts warn DC will be the next virus hot spot.

Now’s your chance to help!

Through our generous supporters and volunteers, we’ve been fortunate to cover some of our participants’ needs—yet there’s an urgent need to close the financial gap.

Online or By Mail

We welcome your contributions to the COVID-19 Support Fund. You can make a tax-deductible contribution by visiting https://donorbox.org/centerglobalOr you can send a check to: Center Global, 2000 14th St., NW., Suite 105, Washington, DC  20009 (please write “Center Global COVID-19” in the memo line).

 

With your help, we can guide our participants through this pandemic. To learn more about Center Global’s COVID-19 response, please email Geoffrey Louden, vice chair at geoffreyl@thedccenter.org.

 

Thank you and best wishes for your health and safety.

Tom Sommers, Geoffrey Louden, Don Driver

Executive Leadership Committee


Tom Sommers                                                                 Geoffrey Louden

UPDATE : DC LGBTQ Health and Wellness Festival

LGBTQ Health & Wellness Festival

*** Hello friends,
In order to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus, the DC Center is closed effective Monday, March 16th. To protect the health and safety of everyone we have decided to postpone our health and wellness festival, we will no longer have the event on March 28th , a new date will be decided in the future. Please consider how you can help delay the spread of coronavirus by consulting sites such as https://coronavirus.dc.gov/ for more information. ***

Due to unfortunate circumstances, we have been forced to reschedule our Wellness Expo. Join us on Saturday, March 28th for our first-ever DC LGBTQ Health and Wellness Expo.

Please click here for the updated event information, and if you have previously registered there’s no need to re-register. Thank you for your patience. If you have any questions please email supportdesk@thedccenter.org.

Job Opening at the DC Center : Social Worker/Therapist

The DC Center for the LGBT Community is hiring! We are looking for a full-time social worker/therapist. Bilingual in Spanish, a plus. See below for details.

Social Worker/Therapist Position:

The DC Center for the LGBT Community has a mission of educating, empowering, celebrating, and connecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community of Washington, DC. The Social Worker/Therapist helps to achieve this mission by providing mental health support services to survivors of violence, crime, and trauma. These services are available free-of-charge to our community members due to grant funding from the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants (OVSJG). The Social Worker/Therapist will see clients individually and in group settings, as well as in a couples/collateral therapy capacity, if requested. The person who fills this position is also responsible for assisting on other related projects, such as quarterly reporting and management of the OVSJG grant, outreach and education in the LGBTQ community, and assisting the mission, vision, and values of The DC Anti-Violence Project (DC AVP). The Social Worker/Therapist will report to the Executive Director.

Special Skills:

The Social Worker/Therapist must have the appropriate licensure to practice in DC (LGSW or LICSW) and have at least 2 years’ experience working as a clinician with a diverse client population. They must also have a demonstrated ability to work with LGBTQ+ adults, to work well in a team, to problem solve and communicate at all levels verbally as well as in writing. Must be self-motivated and be able to build and maintain relationships, both with colleagues and with key stakeholders in the larger victim-serving network of Washington, DC. The ideal candidate will have prior nonprofit/grant management experience and is well adept at multitasking in a fast-paced environment. Bilingual capabilities are not required but strongly preferred.

Functions and Duties

Social Worker/Therapist: Responsibilities:

  • Provide individual, couples, and group mental health support services to a caseload of 25-35 unique clients
  • Conduct intake assessments with all new potential clients to assess safety, job status, financial resources, living arrangements, current support system, type and history of victimization, legal issues, related medical history, and clinical symptomatology for the past 30 days
  • Provide clients with LGBTQ-friendly and affirming referrals to community-based services, aimed at assisting individuals affected by crime, violence and trauma
  • Assess clients and provide necessary intervention in crisis situations (safety plans, hospitalization, referrals, etc.)
  • Keep current and accurate records of all clinical interactions in our clinical database system
  • Collaborate with DC Center staff to provide community-based education and outreach opportunities in line with OVSJG grant requirements
  • Provide data for quarterly reports and help manage grant deliverables for the OVSJG grant throughout the fiscal year
  • Deliver trauma-informed, culturally competent assessment and treatment techniques to all survivors seeking support services, and serve as a resource for all individuals seeking support through The DC Center
  • Work in partnership with The DC Anti-Violence Project members to further the mission, vision, and values of DC AVP
  • Work well with a diverse staff to facilitate an open, supportive and warm environment for all individuals who visit The DC Center

Please click here to apply

How To Access A Free Sexual Assault Exam In DC

If you’ve been sexually assaulted in the last 96 hrs, go to MedStar Washington Hospital Center (MWHC) at any time 24/7/365.

To ask a nurse or an advocate your questions first or to receive a free Uber ride to the hospital, call the DC Victim Hotline @1-844-4HELPDC .


For evidence collection (“rape kit”), in case you decide to report to police, try to avoid:

Showering, urinating or having a bowel movement, eating/drinking or smoking, chewing gum, douching, brushing teeth or changing clothes.


Arrive to MWHC , emergency department and let them know you are there for a SANE exam

You will be checked out by an ER physician first. Expect to be at the hospital for an average of 4.5 hours. You will have the opportunity to have all your questions answered by a nurse and an advocate before the exam begins.


If needed, receive free HIV/STD and pregnancy prevention medications

The nurse and physician will run some lab tests to make  sure it is safe for you to take these meds. You will also have the opportunity to follow up for more meds if possible. Please note that if you believe you were exposed to HIV, you will need to arrive at MWHC  72 hours or before to get HIV prevention treatment known as PEP. PEP is only effective in stopping HIV when taken 72 hours after exposure.


Decide whether or not to report to law enforcement

It is 100% your decision whether to report to the police or not. Your kit will be held for a minimum of one year. You may request for MWHC to hold your kit longer but you may have the right to report any time within the statute of limitation.


Rest and track you kit

You can visit a website to track your kit. Your kit will only be sent to the crime lab for testing if you decide to report to law enforcement, but MWHC can send it for toxicology testing if you’d like regardless of your reporting decision.


Receive ongoing support and connection to resources

If you choose , the advocate will continue to support you in any way that you need and connect you to basic , education, legal, and / or social services.

 


  Information sourced from