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Dining Out For Life® San Diego -
A Four-Day Event to Dine Out. Take Out. End HIV!
April 26, 2021

Dear Center Community,

It is a busy time at The Center! This month, we are advocating for a fair budget for all San Diegans, providing support & discussion groups to the diversity of our LGBTQ community, providing Behavioral Health Services and HIV Testing, hosting two food banks per month and a food delivery program, helping our community secure housing, and holding entertaining fundraising events to support our efforts. At times, our work requires somberness and celebration at the same time, as it does today. We acknowledge the somber victory of last week’s verdict of three guilty charges in the murder of George Floyd, in which former police officer Derek Chauvin was held accountable under the law. Our work to end racial profiling and police violence continues, including calls for broad systemic change - read more just below about our Advocacy efforts and how to get involved.

At the same time, this week kicks off Dining Out For Life® San Diego (#DOFLSD) - a four-day fun opportunity to Dine Out. Take Out. and End HIV. Funds raised support The Center’s HIV Testing program, HIV prevention services, and services for those living with HIV.
Dining Out For Life® San Diego is always one of The Center's most-anticipated events and this year, we are excited to bring back this community event in a reimagined way. Since our 40+ DOFLSD restaurant locations are at reduced capacity while adhering to safety protocols, we are providing more opportunities to participate by extending this year's event to Thursday, April 29-Sunday, May 2. And now is the time to make your plans and reservations as many restaurants are filling up quickly - see all participating restaurants here. It’s also the perfect time to fill out your virtual envelope with a donation - and when you donate $25, you will be entered in two opportunities to win $500 in gift cards to local participating restaurants. 
We would love it if you kept us up to date on your plans for this year’s #DOFLSD! Email us at and let us know where you are planning to dine out or take out. Visit our Facebook page to grab our customized #DOFLSD frame to pop in a picture of you dining out, taking out, or even a photo of your food - be sure to use our hashtag #DOFLSD so we can see all the great community photos. And whether you dine in or take out, you can still get our iconic “I Dined” sticker at participating restaurant locations.
Remember, whether you dine in or take out for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, or drinks, or if you donate, you are helping support local restaurants and The Center’s HIV Services and Prevention programs. And just by eating (and not having to cook for four days!), you are making a difference. We hope you can participate in this four-day #DOFLSD event, and encourage others to join. Thank you for your support! 

In Community,
- Cara Dessert (Pronouns: She/Her/Hers)
Chief Executive Officer
Last Tuesday, former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty in a court of law for the murder of George Floyd; guilty of all three charges: second degree murder, third degree murder, and second degree manslaughter. This verdict is one small victory, one that holds Derek Chauvin accountable under the lawand may provide some peace to the Floyd family and our Black community, but it is not justice. Justice is George Floyd alive with a future. Justice is ending overpolicing and violence against Black, Indigenous, (and) People of Color (BIPOC) communities. Justice is when Black Lives Matter, every day in America. Our hearts are with the Floyd family and the Black community today, as we pledge to fight on for justice. If you didn’t get chance to read The Center’s full statement, it can be read here.
The Campaign Zero’s Report, which evaluated data on the policing practices of the San Diego Police Department (SDPD), shows clear disparities in the number of times SDPD stops members of the Black, Latino/a/x, LGBTQ, and disabled communities - all of whom are stopped in far greater numbers than the white community, with the intersection of anti-LGBTQ bias and racial bias resulting in the highest search rates for Black and Latino/a/x community members who police perceive to be LGBTQ.
Ending overpolicing will take broad systemic change, which requires broad community engagement and bold leadership from our elected officials and community leaders. The Center is working in coalition to implement change, both from budget and from policy perspectives, but we need your help! We invite you to join us and the Coalition for Police Accountability and Transparency (CPAT) in calling for the City of to pass the Police Accountability Now policy reforms, which will begin to address the overpolicing of BIPOC and LGBTQ communities that SDPD engages in. Additionally, The Center invites you to join us and the Community Budget Alliance in our fight for an equitable budget, which divests from law enforcement and reinvests in community services and resources needed the most.

Based on the Mayor’s draft budget released on April 15th, we have lots of work to do to ensure both efforts are successful; please sign up to become a Center Advocate and learn how you can join these fights. Broad, systemic changes are needed. The Center is committed to this work, knowing we have much to learn and grow, and we invite you to join us in building a San Diego LGBTQ community where Black Lives Matter.
- Rebekah Hook-Held (Pronouns: She/Her/Hers)
Chief Public Affairs & Civic Engagement Officer
Although Dining Out For Life® San Diego (DOFLSD) will look somewhat different this year, one thing remains – our fabulous and supportive Event Partners! We are so thankful to our 2021 participating restaurant and bar partners, as well as our Corporate Partners for #DOFLSD. This year, we know that fundraising can be difficult, but with partners like these and their support, The Center can continue its vital programs and services to serve our community. A million thanks!

- Ian Johnson (Pronouns: He/Him/His)
Director of Development
The Center wants to keep you up to date on the latest COVID-19 vaccine and tier information, Presently, San Diego has moved into the Orange Tier and everyone 16 and older is eligible to get the vaccine. To get up to date on vaccine phases, information on who is eligible, details on vaccination sites, or to make your appointment, visit the San Diego County website.
Join us for events, trainings, discussion and support groups, and more via Zoom. Please visit our website, visit The Center's Facebook page, or call us at 619.800.4252 from 9am - 4pm or 619.800.4216 from 4pm - 9pm to find the right one for you. Below find just some of The Center's offerings:
Equality CA has a host of COVID-19 resources for our LGBTQ community including national, state, and local resources on testing, vaccine appointments, and more. Visit
Covered California has officially launched a new special-enrollment period to allow Californians to benefit from lower health insurance premiums available through the American Rescue Plan -- no matter what their income levels are. This new special enrollment period runs from April 12 to December 31, 2021, and many Californians will be able to get a quality, name-brand health plan for as little as $1 per month or richer benefits for less than $100 per month, but only if they sign up for health coverage through Covered California. Those interested in learning more, please see below:
  • “Shop and Compare” tool that allows consumers to easily see exactly how they can benefit from the new American Rescue Plan
  • Visit
  • Get local help and free and confidential assistance, in a variety of languages, from a certified enroller
  • Have a certified enroller call and help for free
  • Call Covered California at (800) 300-1506
The Center offers employees an amazing environment where community building, compassion, and care are uniquely combined with an insistent striving toward excellence and best practices. The Center is one of San Diego’s most exciting places to work, with staff renowned for dynamic and creative teamwork, professionalism, and unparalleled heart and dedication. Check out our job listings. 
We make it easy to share The Center's weekly E-News - just click this link and forward to a friend! If your friends would like to sign up to stay informed, they can sign up here:
If you are in crisis or considering suicide, you are not alone.
There are resources and help available for you:
  • Trans Lifeline: 1.877.565.8860 - For trans or nonbinary folx in the US
  • Trevor Project Lifeline: 1.866.488.7386 - For LGBT youth (18-24)
  • National Suicide Hotline: 1.800.273.8255 - For all ages & identities
  • San Diego Access and Crisis Line: 1.888.724.7240 - Free suicide prevention/intervention hotline in San Diego County
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