Community Resources For The Holiday Season

Graphic entitled "Community Resources"

The holiday season can be a time of joy and celebration, but it can also be a time when our health and wellbeing are at risk. For many LGBTQ+ people, who may face discrimination, rejection, and isolation from their families and communities. In addition to these external stressors, the holiday season can also bring its own set of mental health challenges, such as increased stress, loneliness, and depression. The DC Center has gathered a range of information to help you navigate the holiday season with your safety and mental health in mind.

If you are having an emergency please consider these options for assistance:

Emergency Shelter & Housing:

DC Shelter Hotline: (202)-399-7093 (24/7, provides free transportation) 

LGBTQ Shelter “Living Life” Alternative: 202-560-5457 | 400 50th St SE

Virginia Williams Family Resource Center: (202)-526-0017 (Women & Families) | 920-A Rhode Island Ave NE, 20018

Basic Needs (Showers, Laundry, Food, Etc.):

S.O.M.E. (So Others Might Eat) : (202) 797-8806 71 O St NW, 20001

Bread for the City: (202) 265-2400 1525 7th St. NW (Holiday Closures/Hours

Hunger Lifeline (202) 644-9807 , assistance in finding emergency food help

Thrive DC: (202) 737-9311 1525 Newton St NW Washington, DC 20010 | 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM | 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Mental Health / Substance Use/ Victimization Support: 

Local Services:

In the District you can get help 24/7 with a mental health crisis by calling 988

Maryland Mobile Crisis: (240)-777-4000   |      Virginia Mobile Crisis: (703)-573-5679

Substance Abuse Support and Referral Center (ARC): (202) 727-8473 75 P Street NE (enter on Florida Avenue near the P Street intersection)

The Triangle Club (LGBTQ+ Recovery Support): (202) 659-8641 1638 R St NW Suite 120, 20009  

NAMI DC Helpline: (202)-466-0972  Monday–Friday, 10 am – 6 pm EST

DC Victim Hotline: 844-4HELPDC (844-443-5732)

Nationwide:

SAGE National LGBT Elder Hotline(877)-360-5428 (24/7)

Trans Lifeline: (877)-565-8860

Trevor Lifeline (LGBTQ Folx under 25): (866)-488-7386 

LGBT National Help Center: 888-834-45644

IMAlive: Online Chat (24/7) OR  LGBT ADULT Crisis Text Line* – Text HOME to 741741

The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 (24/7, anonymous, confidential support)

The National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673

Holiday Support: 

DC Center “Xmas Day Hangout” : (Zoom link) December 25 @ 1pm – 2pm

Meet The Staff Kiara

 

Birthdate, Astro Sign

May 7th, Taurus 

 

Where are you originally from? 

Harlem, NY

 

Why did you start working at the DC Center? 

I started working at The DC Center because I wanted to be a part of a welcoming, encouraging environment that also encouraged people to express themselves freely.

 

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

 My favorite part has been the welcoming energy within the DC center.

 

What is your music anthem? 

Anything Beyonce

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community? 

My favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community is that everybody is allowed to express themselves in whatever way they feel comfortable.

 

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

I don’t have one specific place but anywhere that there is good food!

 

What is your favorite queer movie?  

Moonlight

 

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

Pink 

Who do you look up to in the queer community?

I look up to my uncle and close family friends because they were prominent figures in my life growing up.

Meet The Staff: Emily Sawitskas

photo of Emily the Social Media Intern

Welcome Emily Sawitskas to the DC Center! Emily (she/er//hers) is looking forward to organizing and planning events for the center as well as running their social media platforms! You can meet Emily at the DC Center on weekdays and some evenings. She is looking forward to meeting everyone from the LGBTQ+ community and bringing awareness to the DC Center!

 

Birthdate, Astro Sign

March 29, I am a proud Aries! (plus a Virgo moon and Taurus rising for my astrology people!)

Where are you originally from? 

Glendale, CA

Why did you start working at the DC Center? 

I started working at the DC Center to hopefully make a difference in the LGBTQ+ community!

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

I love how relaxed the work environment is and the people I’ve met so far are kind and attentive.

What is your music anthem? 

I love Beyonce and anything R&B

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community? 

I love how everyone is unapologetically themself and everyone is passionate, kind and unique in their own ways.

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

I have only lived in DC for about a week but so far I love all the little unique coffee shops I’ve visited, a great option is For Five Coffee Roasters on L Street! (They play great music!)

What is your favorite queer movie?  

Brokeback Mountain and The Color Purple!

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

Sunflower Yellow! (My Favorite)

Who do you look up to in the queer community?

There are too many people to list but I think my favorite would be the U.S. National Women’s Soccer team players Megan Rapinoe and Abby Wambach because I grew up playing soccer and have continued into my early adulthood.

 

Gay Day At The Zoo Schedule & Info

graphic for Gay Day at the Zoo 2022

Gay Day At The Zoo is this coming Sunday, May 1st at the Smithsonian National Zoo! Have fun with the DC Center for the LGBT with interactive music, games, dance, and merchandise!

The annual Gay Day at the Zoo is a DC favorite for the LGBTQ community! For one day, hundreds of LGBTQ folks, families, and allies come together to show their pride and enjoy the animals and sights at the National Zoological Park. Fittingly the event takes place every year on International Family Equality Day and is a staple on the calendar for many LGBTQ families.

Support the work of the DC Center which educates, empowers, celebrates, and connects the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities this weekend!

Make sure to reserve free tickets beforehand here!

Click here to view the full schedule!

A special thanks to our sponsors: Number Nine, Trade, Metro Weekly, Jennifer Fairfax Law Firm, and Rainbow Families. 

Gay Day at the Zoo FAQs

View the image above or text below with commonly asked questions in regards to GDATZ!

When & where is GDATZ held at?
May 1st at Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

Are there any planned events at the zoo?
A detailed schedule is to come soon.

How do I get tickets to the zoo?
Free pass reservations are required to enter zoo.
(Reserve at tinyurl.com/GDATZ2022)

What GDATZ merchandise can I buy and where?
GDATZ merchandise can be purchased at our pop up nights, launch party, or on May 1st.

Where can I see the full schedule of events for the day?

Click here for the full schedule!

 

Meet the Staff: Jaelyn Gonzalez

Picture of new Social Media Intern

Welcome Jaelyn Gonzalez to the DC Center! She is the Social Media Intern here at the DC Center for the Spring 2022 Quarter. Jaelyn (she/her) looks forward to supporting and aiding the LGBTQ+ community through the power of communications. You can meet Jaelyn at the DC Center on weekdays and some evenings. She is looking forward to being creative and outreaching to the community. 

Birthdate, Astro Sign
June 28th 2002, which makes me a Cancer!

Where are you originally from? 

I am from the west coast! I am a So-Cal native with my hometown being Covina, CA and I attend university in Riverside, CA.

Why did you start working at the DC Center? 

As an LGBTQ+ community member, I found the DC Center to be a great place to serve the community. WIth a strength in communications, the DC Center became the perfect fit for me.

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

The staff has been super helpful and has established an amazing work environment.

What is your music anthem? 

I love Sophie and Arca!

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community? 

I admire the fact that the community is much like a family. No matter what you have been through, the community is more than willing to take you in and care for you. In the words of Janet Mock, “We get to choose our families. We are not limited by biology. We get to make ourselves and we get to make our families.”

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

Georgetown always has the best spots to drink coffee and read a book. Currently reading Joan Didion’s Play it as it Lays and Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar.

What is your favorite queer movie?  

Moonlight or The Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Barry Jenkins is one of my favorite film directors!

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

Pink! It goes well with the Cherry Blossoms and Jackie Kennedy’s rose garden.

Who do you look up to in the queer community?

Sophie! She got me into one of my hobbies, DJ’ing. She has changed my view on hyper-pop music forever and truly changed the landscape for the electronic music scene.

Temporary Closure

temporary closure info

The DC Center is temporarily closed due to a potential COVID-19 exposure in our offices. We are contacting those who were in the space during or after the possible exposure to allow them to make informed choices about seeking testing or other steps to help prevent spreading COVID-19.

Per our exposure plan, the DC Center will be closed until we can complete a deep cleaning of our space. Any in-person hybrid meetings will shift to virtual, and we’ll contact those who have RSVP’d for in-person meetings to update them.

If you have any concerns, please contact the DC Center at supportdesk@thedccenter.org.

Visit our Free Food Pantry

Please stop by our Free Food Pantry. With the ongoing food shortages and struggles with Covid if you’re in need please pick up some food from the DC Center Free Food Pantry. We have all kinds of food ranging from green beans, tuna, corn, soups, pastas, to cereals and more. All of our food have expiration dates clearly marked. Don’t go hungry this winter. We have 2 cabinets full just like the one in this picture. We’re here to help everyone in our LGBTQ family. All are welcome! 

Meet the Staff: Sarah

Welcome Sarah to the DC Center! She’s our new Development Intern. Sarah [she/her] looks forward to learning all about DC and engaging with the LGBTQ community. You can meet Sarah at the DC Center on weekdays and some evenings. Sarah [she/her] is looking forward to connecting with donors and participating in events with the DC Center.

 

Birthdate, Astro Sign

12/16/99, Sagittarius 

 

Where are you originally from? 

San Diego born and raised! Though I’ve lived in Davis for college for the last 4 years.

 

Why did you start working at the DC Center? 

I was inspired by the DC Center’s focus on community support and artistic expression.

 

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

I’ve only just started, but I can say that it has been wonderful to have been greeted with nothing but friendly faces.

 

What is your music anthem? 

For the last couple of weeks it has been Absentee by Jack Campbell.

 

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community? 

The desire for authenticity, the subsequent unbounded creativity, and the unconditional support of each other.

 

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

I’ve only just arrived, but I love the Korean War Memorial. I find the statues to be haunting and disconcerting in a very intriguing way. 

 

What is your favorite queer movie?  

I don’t watch a lot of movies, but my favorite queer show is called Within the Wires. It’s a chilling and poetic take on an alternate history’s dystopia. 

 

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

I’m a fan of the classic white, but I would not say no to a holographic effect that displays diverse imagery of the country depending on what angle you looked at the white house from.

 

Who do you look up to in the queer community?

Yasmin Benoit and David Jay! Both are such influential and integral voices in the aromantic and asexual communities. 

Meet the staff: Brenda

Welcome, Brenda to the DC Center! I am a social media intern. Brenda She/Her looks forward to helping celebrate the community. You can meet Brenda at the DC Center on weekdays and some evenings. Brenda, she/her is looking forward to creating a more open and honest form of communication through social media to help people in the community.

 

 

 

Birthdate, Astro Sign

09/30/1999, Libra

 

Where are you originally from? 

Moreno Valley, CA

 

Why did you start working at the DC Center? 

I thought the organization was cool and they did a lot for the community so I wanted to be part of an organization like it.

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

I haven’t started yet but the staff seems very welcoming.

What is your music anthem? 

Achilles come down by Gangs of Youth and Mikrokosmos by BTS

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community? 

There is a sense of comradery you can get with people.

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

I haven’t been here for long but I have enjoyed goingKramers to hang out with people and the farmers market.

What is your favorite queer movie?  

Book smart

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

Periwinkle or a sage green

Who do you look up to in the queer community?

Jessica Kellgren-Fozard