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 is closed

 

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

Based on surveys and conversations with peer group facilitators and participants and abiding by social distancing guidelines, we are offering a hybrid (physical with webstation for Zoom) option for some while a completely virtual option for others, at each groups’ discretion.

 

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)

Mondays: Coffee & Conversation from 10am to 12pm.

2nd Tuesday: Coming Out Group from 7 to 8:30pm.

3rd Saturday: KhushDC from 1:30 to 3:30pm.

 

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

Mondays: Center Aging Coffee Drop-In from 10am to 12pm
1st Monday of the Month: Center Aging Advocacy Meeting from 12:30 to 1:30pm.

2nd Tuesday: Trans Support Group from 7 to 9pm.
4th Tuesday: GenderQueer (with ASL) from 7 to 8pm.

1st, 3rd, 5th or last Wednesday: Job Club from 6 to 7pm.

5th or last Thursday: Queer Book Club from 7 to 9pm.

Fridays: Friday Tea Time from 2 to 4pm.
4th Friday: Women in their 20s & 30s (with ASL) from 8 to 9pm.

3rd Saturday: POC (People of Color) Support Group from 1 to 3pm.


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.

 

Are therapy meetings still being offered at the Center?

At this time the therapy meeting space is not being utilized, in the meanwhile seasons are being held virtual until 2022 and will be reevaluated at the beginning of the year.

 

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

  • Monday October 4th; Monday through Friday 12 to 6pm; Saturday 11 to 3pm.
  • CyberSation social distance with three separate computers.
  • Peer and Support groups able to offer hybrid options depending on the comfort level of members and facilitators STARTING on the 13th. Option to sign up and come to join the Zoom meeting.
  • Mental Health services are to remain virtual at this time.
  • The Library and Lounge will have social distancing with fewer seats available to accommodate social distancing.
  • New and expanding clothing closet and food pantry for those in need of clothes and food.
  • The Art Gallery is opening up Saturday October 2nd with new artists. Art will be up for the next three months so it can be seen.

 

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 int 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?

  • Self-screenings will ask questions with regards to health symptoms.
  • Per DC law all staff are required to be vaccinated. However, proof of vaccinations or recent test are not going to be asked from community members.
  • In the center social distance practices and mask wearing will be mandated.
  • Peer support groups are being offered in hybrid format so those who are not feeling well do not feel obligated to come into the Center.
  • In accordance with CDC guidelines contact-tracing will be implemented so signup sheets will be mandatory for all who visit the center with their name, phone number and email address.
  • 2 portable air filters have been purchased for the DC Center’s meeting space. They are rated to filter down to .01 microns in size.

 

Are masks required at the Center?

Per CDC guidelines all staff/participants (2yrs or older) physically at the building are required to always wear masks to stop the spreading of COVID-19.

 

What will happen if either staff or participants test positive for COVID-19?

  • The Center will be closed until a full deep cleaning is completed.
  • Staff present/exposed will be asked to quarantine and work remotely until such time as they can provide a negative non-rapid COVID test, per CDC guidelines.
  • Participants/guests who visited 3-4 days prior will be notified of the potential exposure and be asked to contact the DC Center if they are showing symptoms.

 

Will social distancing be enforced at the Center?

The maximum number of people in the DC Center at one time has been adjusted to a maximum of 25 to 30 to accommodate enough space for social distancing.

 

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

  • Sneeze Guards will be installed at the Cyber Center and front desk, as well as 6-foot distance floor markers.
  • A sanitation station will be set up outside the Center that includes wipes/sanitizer, gloves, mask and health self-assessment.
  • Using a clean pen and used pen system, all who enter the Center will need to fill out a log for contact tracing purposes with information such as name, phone number and email address.
  • Cleaning and sanitation procedures will be implemented more frequently throughout the day.
  • Air purification system will be provided for various spaces within the Center.

 

If I am unwilling or unable to comply with mask mandates, will I be turned away from the Center?

To enter the DC Center, you will be asked to wear a mask. If someone is unwilling or unable to wear a mask and/or mentions health issues, assistance will be provided to them outside the DC Center in the Atrium to the best of our staff’s ability. We ask that everyone consider that many people come through the DC Center on a regular basis, so it’s important to make sure everyone is protecting the community by doing what we can. 

 

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.

DC Center reopens to the Public

Relaying information about the DC Center's reopening

The DC Center Reopens to the public Monday, October 4th!

 

The DC Center is excited to announce that we are reopening to the public effective Monday, October 4th. After providing services virtually nonstop since March 2020, we are overjoyed to welcome the community back into our space. We are going to be modifying how we provide services, please check out some of the information below to know how we’re keeping the community safe, as well as how we are asking the community to help protect the staff and others at The DC Center.

 

Hours of Operation

The DC Center will resume our normal office hours of 12 pm – 6 pm Monday through Friday, and Saturdays from 11 am – 3 pm. We are still located at the Reeves Center, 2000 14th Street NW, Suite 105.

Expectations

As grantees of the DC government, The DC Center staff fall under Mayor Bowser’s vaccine mandate, so all staff are required to be vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID testing. While we are not mandating vaccinations from our participants, we are asking people to wear masks that cover mouths and noses securely (disposable masks are available at the entrance to the DC Center), and self-screen for common COVID-19 symptoms (fever/shakes, recent loss of sense of smell, congestion, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, etc) and ask for assistance outside the DC Center’s offices if they aren’t feeling well.

FAQ

Services available

The DC Center will be making some changes to the way we operate, especially in how we have our peer support groups. Please click here for Hybrid Peer Support Group information. Otherwise services are listed below with a quick summary of changes in how we operate

Cyber Center: Reduced capacity, 3 people at once. If someone is waiting to use the services, we will discuss what makes sense with everyone trying to use the Cyber Center.

Mental Health Services: Mental Health Services will be remote for the time being. If you are interested in receiving services, you can email supportdesk@thedccenter.org to get started.

Lounge: Our lounge has been rearranged to help promote social distancing, as has our Meeting Room Space.

Clothing Closet: Our Clothing Closet has been relocated and better organized to help people more easily access it.

Food Pantry: Our Food Pantry is being restocked, as much of the donated food had expired during the pandemic.

Referrals/Service Linkages: These are happening in person or can be accessed by calling our Main desk at (202) 682-2245, or via email at Supportdesk@thedccenter.org

 

 

Queer Women Working Through Trauma Therapy Group Oct 13-Dec 15, 2020

Queer Women Working Through Trauma

The Queer Women Working Through Trauma group invites individuals to focus on processing trauma as a group through a variety of therapeutic techniques, learning to manage triggers and painful memories, and other behavioral processing activities. Participants will also focus on the mind-body connection throughout the course of the group, engaging in art and expression activities, mindful meditation/visualization, deep breathing, and other tactile exercises to help process through trauma responses while creating accessible coping strategies.

The group is held weekly for 10 weeks on Tuesday evenings from 5:45 pm – 7 pm. The next cycle of the group will start on October 13 and will meet remotely via Zoom. If you are interested in being a part of an upcoming cycle of the group or getting on the waiting list for the next one, please contact our staff therapist, Christina Cappelletti, LGSW, to set up a time for a telecounseling intake session: christinac@thedccenter.org. 

This group is offered at no cost to clients, thanks to a grant from the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants.

Navigating Professional Settings as a Nonbinary Person

Navigating Professional Settings as a Non-Binary/Trans* Person

Coming out as non-binary or trans* can be uncomfortable in straight, cis-normative settings – especially the workplace. At work, we may not feel we can speak up when we are uncomfortable, defend ourselves from inappropriate comments, or express ourselves in the same way would if we were off the clock. We may not have LGBTQ+ colleagues or friends at work who can relate to our experiences or allies we can turn to for support when we need help. We may fear potential consequences of coming out such as discrimination, harassment, or disciplinary action.

Coming out has been an important and deeply personal part of my journey to live an authentic and meaningful life, and when I share this aspect of my identity with others, I hope to feel respected and embraced. I have recently had the privilege to work for an organization that prioritizes diversity, but even then, introducing and normalizing non-binary pronouns has been a challenge. As a non-binary person with fluid gender expression, I find myself coming out over and over again as I continue to meet new people. Because my physical features tend to appear feminine no matter how I express myself, many of my non-LGBTQ+ colleagues have needed ongoing reminders and explanations to help them learn my pronouns.

The emotional labor and weight of having to repeatedly come out at work, correct colleagues when incorrect pronouns are used, or serve as a token non-binary or trans* person can feel hurtful and exhausting at times. Most of my youth and adult life has been lived trying to navigate being queer in straight and cis-normative spaces. Perhaps you can relate. Having navigated professional settings as a non-binary trans* person many times, I’ve finally found a few strategies that have greatly helped remove some of this burden from my shoulders, and I hope they might benefit you too.

Wearing a Pronoun Pin

Wearing a pin or button has been the most helpful strategy I have used to help encourage my colleagues to remember to use my pronouns at work. Some days, mine will say “They/Them” and other days it will say “Non-Binary”. Sometimes I wear it on my suit jacket or shirt, and other times I’ll wear it on my lanyard if I’m wearing my ID badge. Pins have been a discreet, professional, and effective way to provide others a visual clue to use correct gender pronouns. Pins are also affordable and can be ordered easily online, but they only work when you’re speaking to your colleagues in person.

Listing your Pronouns on your Email Signature and Business Cards

Including your pronouns in your email signature is a helpful way to both let your colleagues know what your gender pronouns are when you’re working virtually and normalize diverse gender pronouns within your organization. You can use this same principle by printing your pronouns on your business cards. Businesses can benefit from implementing this as a routine practice to help current LGBTQ+ employees feel safer and to help the organization be more inclusive to new employees and the clientele it serves.

Welcoming Images and Items in your Personal Office Space

Displaying LGBTQ+, non-binary, or trans* imagery in your personal workspace can help show others that you are supportive and welcoming of LGBTQ+ clients and colleagues, and often inspires allies to follow suit. It can also remind others that you personally identify as LGBTQ+ and can help serve as a visual reminder of your pronouns if you have come out at work.

Make a Small Lending Library Available to Your Colleagues

Having books and reference guides available to be borrowed can be an accommodating way to help colleagues who may feel too shy or don’t have the time to have a lengthy conversation with you about how to help make LGBTQ+ people feel safer in the workplace. A text they can bring home can help them learn privately and at their own pace. One text I personally like to keep on my desk for this purpose is  A Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns. I wouldn’t say it’s a perfect text, but it’s written as a graphic novel and uses a casual and humorous tone, which I like because it makes for a quick and easy read for busy people. If you choose to start a lending library at your office, make sure you’ve read the entirety of each text you make available to ensure the content is appropriate for the workplace.

State Your Pronouns When You Introduce Yourself

Each time you have the opportunity to introduce yourself to a new person or even a group of familiar people, take the opportunity to state your pronouns – even if no one follows your lead at first. This helps remind the group of your pronouns, models how to be inclusive of diverse gender identity, and invites them to help normalize diverse gender pronouns in the organization and perhaps even in their personal lives.

Correct Others When They Misgender You 

This can be a tough one. If you feel comfortable and safe enough to do so, correct others when they misgender you – to the extent possible. You can choose to do this immediately after it happens, or privately at a later time. However, sometimes being mis-gendered can happen so many times a day that it may not feel possible or reasonable to correct every person you come across. Only do what feels right and is comfortable for you.

If An Ally Wants to Support You, Let Them Know What You Need

Having allies at work can be tremendously helpful to make the workplace safer for LGBTQ+ people. However, sometimes allies may not know how to support non-binary or trans* people, and may have questions they’re too nervous to ask. They may be unsure how to respond when they overhear a peer use incorrect gender pronouns, or what they should do if they mis-gender someone by accident. Asking these questions can be so uncomfortable for some that it can be easier not to engage or show support at all.

In these situations, I have found success in being vulnerable and inviting about asking uncomfortable questions from the start. When someone expresses support for me, I thank them and let them know how happy and safe it makes me feel when they help me correct my peers about my gender pronouns. I let them know precisely what I would be comfortable with them sharing about me if they find themselves in a situation where they want to help correct others about my pronouns, and let them know that if they ever have questions, they may feel free to ask me about it. I also let them know that it’s okay to mess up, because what matters most to me is just a consistent effort to get it right.

While I recognize the strategies I listed above may not be applicable or possible in all work environments, I hope that they bring you some relief and tangible tactics to help improve your experience at work. I also recognize we may not always feel safe or generous enough to want to help our colleagues learn about how to be more inclusive toward LGBTQ+ people, and would sometimes prefer others take initiative to do the research on their own. If one thing is certain, however, it is that we all deserve to feel safe, respected, and valued at work and in our personal lives. To my surprise, I have been fortunate to find more allies and friends by coming out at work than I had originally expected.

 

Information sourced from https://myumbrella.co/

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

 

CALLING TRANSMASC PERFORMERS/ARTISTS!

Transmasc Open Mic

We are seeking transmasculine folx to perform at the DCAVP Transmasc Voices Against Violence open mic event, May 29, 6:45-9PM. See the FULL EVENT DEETS HERE.

Theme: The topic is Transmasculine Survivors of Violence & Abuse. This event is a registration-only Zoom event, to be able to hold intimate space where transmasculine folx can speak up/out about their experiences of violence and abuse including those that may have happened pre-transition — a timeline that many transmasculine folx do not share openly for reasons of stealth, privacy and/or danger.

3-5 minute slots. The mic will be open after the first 5 performers for anyone interested — pre-event and during-event sign up list will be 1st come 1st served for the remaining time.

5-7 minute slots: We would like to have a small line-up of experienced performers to help set the stage as a place for authenticity and courage. If you are an experienced performer interested in one of the 5-7 minute slots on stage, please contact Benjamin DeRoche. We will offer a $50 honorarium/each for 5 transmasculine-identified performers.

ASL interpreters provided.

 

 

DC Center – Closed Effective 3/16/20

Image of the Coronavirus and the works COVID-19

Taking guidance and recommendations about social distancing from the DC government and the CDC, effective Monday, March 16th, The DC Center for the LGBT Community’s office will be closed. Staff are still working remotely, and will be checking emails and voicemails multiple times each day. Please reach out to supportdesk@thedccenter.org to connect with the DC Center, as we are still able to provide services and support.

If you are interested in attending support groups remotely, please reach out to your facilitator or supportdesk@thedccenter.org and we can provide options for remote meetings using conference lines.

The situation is changing rapidly, please refer to the CDC’s website and coronavirus.dc.gov for up-to-date information on what you can do to help prevent and slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

The DC Center team will be meeting regularly to assess the situation and rest assured that we will open as soon as it is safe to do so, as we know that many of our clients and participants are vulnerable and will need support. If you are able, please consider donating and supporting organizations that provide food, medicine, and other support to marginalized populations. 

 

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

 

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

Job Opportunity at the DC Center for the LGBT Community

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