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.

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

 

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.

CFLS to Hold Speaker Training for Women Survivors

Community Family Life Services will be hosting Informational Sessions for the CFLS Speakers Bureau on September 11th and September 14th. The Speakers Bureau is a paid public speaking training and professional development opportunity for women who have survived domestic violence, human trafficking, homelessness, and incarceration.

This Informational Session is an opportunity for potential applicants and members of the community to learn more about the program, hear from current members of the program, receive tips on how to strengthen your application, and ask questions. This event is open to all applicants and members of the community who are interested in learning more about the CFLS Speakers Bureau.

Please RSVP to attend:

Wednesday, September 11th at 11am: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cfls-speakers-bureau-informational-session-911-am-tickets-71082213815

Wednesday, September 11th at 6 pm: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cfls-speakers-bureau-informational-session-911-pm-tickets-71084352211

Saturday, September 14th at 11 am: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cfls-speakers-bureau-informational-session-914-am-tickets-71084727333

Please reach out to Miracle Smith with questions: (202) 750 6024 ext. 4001; mgsmith@cflsdc.org.

Earline Budd: Call to Action on Drug Overdoses in the LGBTQ Community

Earline Budd Call to Action

Transgender Activist and Executive Director of Empowering the Transgender Community Earline Budd released the following statement in response to recent deaths believed to be related to drug overdose in the DC LGBTQ Community.

In December 2018 I sent out a “Call To Action” regarding the spike in K2 Synthetic Drug and heroin overdoses here in the District of Columbia. On June 27th a transgender woman whom I have known and worked with for over 15 years was found dead at 7th and H Street N.W. She was homeless and had her struggles, but did not deserve to go out like this. It was said to be a suspected overdose of some type of drug that she consumed.

In the last 90 days the LBGTQ community has had several deaths believed to be related to the synthetic drugs and heroin.  This epidemic has hit home for the LBGTQ community again after the death of Diamond Colson a transgender woman age 31.

While city agencies including the police department, the Department of Human Services along with homeless shelters are said to be trying to curb this ongoing problem, it has resurfaced and again is claiming lives of those we love and work with.

Even with the creation of the city “Emergency Alert” flier with information about K2/heroin and drug addiction resources that officers and homeless advocates are now passing out, we must come together to discuss what more can be done. One life is too many, and there must also be consequences for those who are mixing up these deadly drugs killing people. While there is a
lot of funding for Opcode Overdose Prevention, there must be more done for those who are within the LBGTQ community which is a very silent conversation. “Call to Action” is now and we can’t sit by and just watch people die off. While it is not you today experiencing the loss of someone, it can be you tomorrow.

Resources

  • Seek substance use disorder treatment. Call the Assessment and Referral Center (The ARC) at 202-727-8437
  • Get connected to behavioral health services. Call the 24/7 Access HelpLine at 1-888-793-4357
  • Contact an outreach worker 202-442-4634 (DHS) or 202-673-9124 (DBH)

LGBTQ Specific Recovery Information

  • Visit the Triangle Club website to learn more about traditional twelve step programs.
  • An LGBTQ Smart Recovery Group meets weekly on Saturday Evenings at 8PM.  Find out more here.
  • For Harm Reduction information and resources, connect with www.hips.org

 

Recovery & Meeting Information

LGBTQ Recovery

 

 

 

Using SAMSHA’s behavioral health treatment locator : You can search for facilities by entering your zip code, clicking the substance abuse (SA) checkbox, then checking “lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) clients.”

You also can search for AA meetings to attend and discuss with recovered LGBT people in your area: http://www.gayandsober.org/meetings