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.

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

 

Meet the Staff: Ella

Welcome Ella to the DC Center! As the health and wellness intern, she looks forward to getting to know the center and the people it serves. You can meet Ella at the DC Center on weekdays and some evenings. She is looking forward to working with the peer support groups and learning more about the mental and physical healthcare needs of the LGBTQ+ community.

 

Birthdate, Astro Sign

January 5, 2000. I’m a capricorn sun and moon and a virgo rising!

 

Where are you originally from? 

I was born and raised in DC.

 

Why did you start working at the DC Center? 

I wanted the chance to learn more about working in mental health, and the Center’s work is so important! 

 

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

How kind and welcoming the staff is.

 

What is your music anthem? 

Space Cowboy by Kacey Musgraves

 

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community? 

My friends and my girlfriend!

 

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

Rock creek park, I love to take walks there and listen to a good podcast or audiobook.

 

What is your favorite queer movie?  

Boy Erased– the book is also very powerful.

 

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

A nice olive green. Might put a few murals on the sides!

 

Who do you look up to in the queer community?
Experimental musician Pauline Oliveros. She was out and open in a time when that was very uncommon, and her music is incredibly powerful.

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

 

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

Meet the Staff: Maya

woman with cherry blossoms

Welcome Maya to the DC Center! She is a summer health and wellness intern and looks forward to making members of the queer community smile and feel supported. You can meet Maya at the DC Center Monday thru Friday this summer! She is a rising junior at Georgetown University, majoring in Global Health. 

Birthdate, Astro Sign

23 May, Gemini

Where are you originally from?

San Diego, CA

Why did you start working at the DC Center?

I started working at the DC Center to further my exposure to community/queer health work and give back to the LGBTQ community.

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

My favorite part has been the welcoming attitudes of my coworkers. We’re all striving to help our community thrive!

What is your music anthem?

I’ve had Hippo Campus’ “Bambi” on repeat lately.

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?

I love how much fun we can have together. Whether it’s dancing, fashion, or poetry it all makes me feel fabulously free.

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

I absolutely love to run on the National Mall. You can catch me there with my partner and our dog!

What is your favorite queer movie?  

Moonlight (2016)

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

Green!

Who do you look up to in the queer community?

Jennifer Wiggins is a queer black icon working in Georgetown’s Health Education Services. She is constantly making herself available for queer programming & has often made me smile as well as feel safe on campus. Simply put, Jenn is a loving activist through and through.

Coming Out Group Expands

Coming Out Support Group

The Coming Out Support Group is expanding and will now be meeting twice a month.  The group will continue to meet on the  2nd Tuesday of each month, and starting this month they will also meet on the 4th Thursday of each month.

Are you planning to come out? Maybe you have just recently come out?

Join us for a coming out discussion group meeting at the DC Center for the LGBT community.

This is a peer-facilitated discussion group. It is a safe space to share experiences about coming out and discuss topics as it relates to doing so. By sharing struggles and victories the group allows those newly coming out and who have been out for a while to learn from others. All are welcome to join in discussion whether Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, or Ally.

The next two meetings will be on October 9th and October 25th.  A total of 19 peer facilitated support and discussion groups currently meet at the DC Center.  Peer facilitators are supported by our staff social workers.  Find out more at thedccenter.org/support.

Volunteer Spotlight: Tamara

Meet one of our many volunteers, Tamara! Tamara has been volunteering with the DC Center for a number of years and can be seen running the Poly Group here at the Center. Don’t forget to check out her book, It’s Called Polyamory: Coming Out About Your Nonmonogamous Relationships, which is designed to provide support and encouragement for those coming out as poly. She wrote the book “because [she] noticed that though there were a lot of resources for LGBT people around coming out, there was almost nothing about coming out as polyamorous. Poly people face some significant challenges that you don’t find with other coming out processes, for instance the idea of polyamory often brings up people’s past experiences with infidelity.” Keep reading to find out more about Tamara!

Birthdate, Astro Sign.

My birthday is September 26 and I’m a Libra.

Where are you originally from?

I was born in Seattle, Washington, moved to Brookline, MA when I was a baby, lived there until I was 12, then moved to Buffalo, NY and went to college at Smith in Northampton, MA. I have been in DC since 1998 so here feels most like home.

When and why did you start volunteering at the DC Center?

I started volunteering for the DC Center in 2011 after someone did a one time only poly discussion and I thought that it would be good for the community to have one more often. I’ve been running groups monthly ever since.

What has been your favorite part about volunteering with the DC Center so far?

I’ve loved all of the groups I’ve done. I’ve developed some deep friendships through the center.

What is your favorite event that the DC Center offers?

I don’t actually go to a lot of events outside of the one that I run… so I’d have to say the poly discussion group is the best.

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?

I’ve had a lot of mixed feelings about the queer community over the years. I came out as bisexual in 1993 and there was still a lot of exclusion of bisexuality from the LGBTQ community at the time. As in there were organizations that didn’t include bi people at all. Over the years I have continued to have moments of feeling excluded because of my ongoing relationships with men and the perpetual sense of being not queer enough. As time has gone on I’ve become more and more aware of the ways in which the community has not served people of color, trans people, and other more marginalized communities. With that said I have seen people at the Center really trying hard to do good work with people outside of the financially advantaged white people who were at the center of the marriage equality movement. I find the work around asylum seekers to be particularly important in these times.

Who do you look up to in the queer community?

I would say some of my queer community heroes are Loraine Hutchins (local bi activist), Robyn Ochs (Bi activist in MA), and actually Chris Donaghue (author and TV personality). Loraine wrote some of the first literature on bisexuality that I found as a kid and that is what enabled me to figure out how to talk about my identity and come out. Robyn was the first one that let me see that this was not just theoretical, there are real live other people who are out as bi. Chris is brilliant and edgy and yet he sat down with me and let me give him hell about what I thought was wrong about his book Sex Outside the Lines. He continues to be an ally in body positivity in Hollywood where that kind of activism is still practically unheard of.

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

I think my favorite place in DC these days is my office. Its full of sparkly things and comfy furniture, though I suspect you were looking for another kind of answer.

What is your favorite queer movie?

As far as favorite queer movie, I’m between The Incredibly True Adventures of 2 Girls in Love and But I’m a Cheerleader. I think that shows my age.  I have yet to find a movie that talks about the kind of queer experience that I have lived.

What clothing item is a staple in your wardrobe?

Black dresses are always a staple but I have to say I’m not sure why my fashion taste is important. I’d rather talk about my book. My relationships. My kids. What I’m doing in the world, etc than what I’m wearing.

Who are you most inspired by?

As far as who I’m inspired by I’d have to say Ricci Levy who runs the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Foundation. I love the idea of looking at sexuality and family as human rights and I want us to move forward as a more inclusive movement. As far as DC activists, Cyndee Clay of HIPS continues to work hard for some of those most marginalized people in our community even when it gets really hard. I’m also inspired by Bianca Laureno, Aida Mandulay, Trina Scott and all of the other founders of the Women of Color Sexual Health Network. I love their work and being able to support them.

What is your favorite DC neighborhood?

I would say Dupont is still my favorite neighborhood in the city even though I miss the old days when Lammas (the queer women’s bookstore), Lamda Rising (the other gay bookstore) and the Leather Rack were still there.

What is your go to restaurant and what do you order?

Guacamole from Guapos is my comfort food.

If you could live in any decade (past or future) which would it be and why?

I don’t spend a lot of time in time travel fantasies. Going backwards it was harder for people of color and other marginalized groups. Going forward the earth is being destroyed. Right now Donald Trump is in office. Still the only time that really works for me is right now in this moment. I guess I’ve bought in to all of those mindfulness exercises a little too much.

Are you more of an early bird or a night owl?

I hate mornings. I also don’t like to stay up late. Why is this on a binary?