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During the pandemic, The Center helped LGBTQ seniors with connectivity

During the pandemic, The Center helped LGBTQ seniors with connectivity

Dear Center Community,

The journey we have all been on for the last year has been unparalleled - and The Center has been here every step of the way. We have provided vital Emergency Services, but we have also provided support - Essential Support - to our community to ease isolation, help discover next steps, find resources, take care of mental health, and so much more. 

Essential Support can come in many forms. Sometimes it’s simple connectivity that can have a tremendous impact on our lives. We saw this with John, a 60-year old participant in Center groups and a former volunteer. During this past year, John has been extremely limited in who he can contact, only having a flip-style cell phone. Like many LGBTQ seniors, John has faced tremendous isolation that has been elevated when he was unable to attend in-person support groups or participate in virtual sessions because he did not have the resources. 

That all recently changed with The Center’s Senior Services secured resources to give away computers to seniors who wouldn’t otherwise have been able to access technology. Seniors came from Chula Vista, South Park, Hillcrest, and even Oceanside to pick up these free computers! Every single client commented that they were excited to be given this essential tool that made it possible to participate in Zoom meetings at The Center, or video calls with their Behavioral Health Service (BHS) providers, or helped connect, really connect, with their friends and family. When John came to the Center parking lot to pick up his computer he was beaming. “This is my first computer in my whole life!” he told us. “Thank you so much! Now I can talk to everyone!”

 The lack of legal recognition, reliance on chosen family, and lack of funding for LGBTQ-specific aging resources mean that LGBTQ seniors are disproportionately susceptible to isolation. LGBTQ seniors are much more likely to live alone than non-LGBTQ elders and are also less likely to access necessary services than the general aging population, services like vital mental health services or meal programs. As we emerge from this pandemic, we look forward to reinstating many of our in-person programming that our seniors so vitally need. If you, or someone you know, needs Essential Support at this time, please call  619.800.4252 from 9am - 4pm or 619.800.4216 from 4pm - 9pm. If you are able to support these essential programs, please visit https://thecentersd.org/giving/. Thank you!