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A COVID-19 Update and How The Center Helps LGBTQ Seniors With Food Insecurity... And More
December 7, 2020

Dear Center Community,

With the cases of COVID-19 rising, the state of California has issued a Regional Stay-at-Home order that affects San Diego County, which began at midnight last night; read about the new restrictions and how it will affect us here. We hope you are doing your part to stay home and stay safe to protect yourself and others, and follow the new guidelines, wearing a mask, wash your hands, and practice social distancing. With a vaccine on the horizon this Spring, we can look forward with hope, but still continue to do what we know is right to stop this devastating pandemic now.

The Center knows that food insecurity during this pandemic is a real worry and hardship for seniors, and that LGBTQ seniors are disproportionately affected. Last month, The Center held its Senior Food Bank and served a record 270 seniors, providing food boxes filled with pantry-stable items like pasta, rice, canned vegetables, cheese, juice, and more. We saw seniors ranging from their early 60s into their 90s come to The Center Food Bank and tell us they miss us and what we bring to their lives.  

We also hear over and over that seniors come to the monthly Food Bank at The Center because they know us, they trust us, and appreciate all of the safety measures we are taking during COVID-19 to continue to serve our community. And, we will continue providing this critical service to our community. We know how important The Center's Emergency Services are, especially now, and plan to continue our food banks, behavioral health services, critical housing and rental relief, virtual support groups, HIV testing, and healthcare resources. If you, or someone you know, are in need of these services, including our Senior Food Bank, please contact us at (619) 800-4252 from 9am - 4pm and (619) 800-4216 from 4pm - 9pm.

I would like to extend a special thank you to those who donated this past week on #GivingTuesday to keep The Center's Emergency Services available. With over 300 Center supporters giving over $45,000 in small donations, our Center team is deeply inspired by the outpouring of support from our community this past #GivingTuesday. If you are able to join us with a gift of any size, it's not too late; please visit us online to make a gift today. Thank you again to all!

With a vaccine on the horizon, likely accessible by the Spring, we know that this pandemic will end, and for the next six months, we can all do our part to keep our community safe by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and washing our hands. We will all get through this together, and The Center will be here to serve our community through this crisis. 

In community,
-Cara Dessert (Pronouns: She/Her/Hers)
Chief Executive Officer
The Center knows that bias at the hands of law enforcement including overpolicing and racial profiling is real and echoed by the lived experience of our LGBTQ community and communities of color. The Center's leadership felt it was important to share with the broader San Diego community, through this Op-Ed, the information and impact of the stop data from the SDPD and SD Sherriff’s Department and what The Center is doing in response.

Read The Center’s Op-Ed in The San Diego Union-Tribune by The Center's CEO Cara Dessert and Board Co-Chairs Dr. Kafele J. Khalfani, Ed.D. and Lisa Sanders - an important step in informing the public and stopping these practices.
Last Friday, a Federal Judge ordered the government to fully reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This decision allows up to 300,000 additional undocumented immigrants to file new applications for protection under the program, reversing a memorandum issued by the acting Secretary of Homeland Security, which previously restricted the program to people who were already enrolled. The Judge also ordered the government to restore existing restrictions to the full two years and the government must find a way to contact all immigrants who are eligible for the program to inform them of the change. The Judge said the government must announce the changes to the program on its website by today.

This is the next step in justice for our Dreamers, our families, and our immigrant communities, and The Center celebrates this important decision. While there may be appeals and more court decisions on DACA in the next two months, President-elect Joe Biden has stated that he will undo any remaining restrictions to the DACA program when he comes into office at the end of January 2021. Read more about the decision.
On behalf of The City of San Diego, you are cordially invited to The 2020 City of San Diego Inauguration Ceremony - this Thursday, December 10, 2020 at 10 a.m. Due to current public health restrictions in place, the virtual ceremony will be able to be viewed via public television (within the City of San Diego only) on CityTV Channel 24 for Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable, or Channel 99 for AT&T, or online.
Congratulations to all of our new City of San Diego elected officials and we look forward to working with each of you!

-Rebekah Hook-Held (Pronouns: She/ Her/ Hers)
Chief Public Affairs and Civic Engagement Officer
The Center wants you to stay connected, especially during this time of year with the new Stay-At-Home order. Join us and your community on Zoom for discussion and support groups, special events, and more. Please visit our website, visit The Center's Facebook page, or call us at 619.692.2077 x 211 to find the right one for you. Reach out and connect today! 
We make it easy to share the word- just click this link and forward this E-News 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
Copyright © 2020 San Diego LGBT Community Center, All rights reserved.

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