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The Center's Virtual Support & Discussion Groups Are A Powerful Connection For Community
May 10, 2021

Dear Center Community,

I hope this finds you all healthy and well, and getting yourself, your family, and friends vaccinated so that we can all be safe and healthy. As the state begins to open up, The Center is exploring our own reopening, anticipating a phased approach, acknowledging that the health and safety of staff, volunteers, and community members is our highest priority. We know that thousands in our community are itching to return to The Main Center and our Youth Centers – we hear you and pledge to keep the promise we made in March 2020 to reopen as soon as we can do so safely. There is much to consider and plan for (including a new HVAC system!), and we will keep you up to date as we go! 
In the meantime, The Center offers a wide array of Support & Discussion Groups offered on Zoom during the pandemic. Some support groups are peer-led, while others are facilitated by Behavioral Health Services staff. The Center’s support groups are a great way for community members to connect with others who are experiencing similar challenges, and who can therefore relate, empathize and problem-solve grounded in real-life experience. Participating in support groups can reduce feelings of despair, frustration, fear or loneliness, and increase a sense of safety, belonging, empowerment, and esteem.
These groups can make a powerful and lasting difference to community members! One example is our client Larry, a senior with hearing loss who was isolated. He connected with The Center’s team, who showed him how to use Zoom technology via the chat feature to participate in the virtual Senior Social Hour. Now, Larry is connected to community, and even met a new friend in the same situation and they are supporting each other. Then there is Johnnie, a 10-year old who joined the Middle School Zoom group this month for the first time– Johnnie was energized and happy to meet other youth like them online. Our support groups touch nearly 1,000 attendees, from the newly-formed Bi/Pan/Fluid Group who are collecting and sharing resources; the community member experiencing isolation and intermittent connectivity who can now join several ‘Zooms’ because Center staff helped him discover the WIFI calling option on his phone; the members of Mi Familia group who have been supporting and encouraging each other in the group to get vaccinated and share where they can take their transgender or nonbinary children to get vaccinated; the deaf community member who attends Project TRANS discussion groups on Wednesdays and Fridays, knowing that there will be an ASL interpreter and it will be accessible to them, and so many more.

If you, or someone you know, could benefit from a Support and Discussion group, please reach out. You can find our groups by visiting our website at, our Facebook page, or calling (619) 800-4252 from 9am - 4pm or (619) 800-4216 from 4pm - 9pm for more information. We hope to see you virtually at a group!
In Community,
- Cara Dessert (Pronouns: She/Her/Hers)
Chief Executive Officer
As I mentioned last week Mayor Todd Gloria recently released his proposed Fiscal Year 22 (FY22) San Diego City Budget and over the next few weeks, the Mayor and City Council will work to finalize San Diego City’s Budget.

The Center believes that the City Budget is a moral document that should equitably prioritize the needs of our most vulnerable neighbors. Because it is not possible to fund all projects with limited City revenue, it’s important that our elected officials hear from us. We must advocate for the services that will allow San Diego to be welcoming and supportive to all of our community members.

Please join us virtually this Wednesday, May 12th from 5:30-7:00pm via Zoom for our “Center Advocates Organizing Workshop: City Budget”. Meet The Center's Advocacy team and learn about how you can get involved with advocating for an equitable budget. Plus, our Center team will share about our broader Advocacy work! This workshop will be informative, community based, and action-driven...all attendees will leave with concrete advocacy tools and connections. RSVP here:
- Rebekah Hook-Held (Pronouns: She/Her/Hers)
Chief Public Affairs & Civic Engagement Officer
The Center would like to invite you to our first ever Stonewall Society virtual event, tomorrow, Tuesday, May 11 from 12pm to 1pm. We’ve heard from supporters like you that in this time of uncertainty many are considering their plans for the future. Estate planning provides protection for you, your loved ones, your assets, and your future legacy. Please join us to hear from current Stonewall Society members and Estate Planning Professionals on the importance of setting up an estate plan and the most common types of gifts. Click here, to register or to register by phone, please call (619) 841-2258.
-  Ian Johnson (Pronouns: He/Him/His)
Director of Development
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:
Don't miss the San Diego Women’s Chorus’ Stronger On The Other Side, a virtual concert with songs of hope, joy and resilience, this coming Saturday May 15th at 7pm PST and Sunday, May 16th at 4pm PST.

Reflecting on the challenges of the past year, the chorus will sing of resilience through the tough times, love that carries us through, hope and dreams for the future, reimagining our world, and the joy of reconnecting with loved ones.The virtual concert also features favorite performances from past seasons. Learn more here:
Covered California has launched a new special-enrollment period to allow Californians to benefit from lower health insurance premiums-- no matter what their income levels are. This new special enrollment period runs through December 31, 2021.  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, call (800) 300-1506 or visit
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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