"We have always said we will open our doors when it is safe to do so for everyone and so we are busy implementing changes to our operations to ensure that when we reopen fully, it's as safely as possible."
After a rollercoaster 16 months of this COVID-19 pandemic, our San Diego community is finally reopening and our society is changing once again. Mask restrictions are loosening, there is increased capacity at restaurants and shopping centers, and businesses are endeavoring to open to fully serve their clients. We, too, at The Center are looking toward the future, and I wanted to provide you with some updates.
Last month, I let you know that we are continuing our current operation mode, with limited in-person services including HIV Testing, Food Programs, 1:1 visits in our Youth Centers, and our Housing Continuum, while our Support and Discussion Groups, Behavioral Health Services, and Help Desk are all still virtual. We have always said we will open our doors when it is safe to do so for everyone and so we are busy implementing changes to our operations to ensure that when we reopen fully, it's as safely as possible. Given that COVID-19 is airborne, a key component to safely reopening is to install a new HVAC system in our 100-year old building for the cleanest air possible. We are two steps closer to that end, as our duct system has been mapped out and a new system has been ordered! We are hopeful that the installation will be completed by late August, which will bode well for a phased re-opening in the fall, after AIDS Walk weekend. We are also taking full advantage of the opportunity to make some upgrades to our main Center, refreshing our bathrooms, redesigning our lobby to be more welcoming, and getting new floors in our auditorium. We cannot wait to welcome you back to YOUR San Diego LGBT Community Center this fall! We will continue to keep you informed, with updates along the way.
We also have another exciting announcement - The Center’s new website has launched! For over a year, we have been working on this new website - it is user-friendly, easy to navigate, targeted to specific programs, and more. We have a robust calendar for Center offerings, programs, and events; a Featured Events section on our homepage; our #BeTheGeneration program and HIV Services have morphed into one page - Sexual Health and Wellness, our new program that ensures individuals are empowered to take charge of their sexual health and well-being; and for our Spanish-speaking friends and clients, the entire site can be translated into Spanish using one toggle. We realized during the pandemic what a critical tool our website is for our community and I wanted to share some absolutely amazing facts. From the beginning of 2020 through June 2021, here are the visits to select pages on our website:
- Homepage: 86,657
- Resources: 12,037
- Programs: 8,202
- Behavioral Health Services: 9,413
- Project TRANS: 5,031
- Youth Services: 6,126
- Hillcrest Youth Center: 6,301
- South Bay Youth Center: 2,814
- Sunburst Youth Housing Project: 4,017
We are delighted that this crucial tool and resource for our community is now redesigned and easy to use. If you have any feedback on our new website, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. As I mentioned, we will keep you up to date on all of the happenings at The Center and can’t wait to see you again at YOUR Center!