Los Angeles LGBT Center Chief of Staff Darrel Cummings sent this letter Tuesday to Center supporters:
I hope this message finds you well and not too overwhelmed with the rapidly-changing news about COVID-19. As a vital supporter of the Center and someone who cares deeply about the important work we do for our community, I wanted to take some time to let you know how we are handling this challenging situation, and how you can help support the most vulnerable in our community.
Businesses and schools are closing, and there’s much economic uncertainty for many of us. We’ve all been asked to practice social-distancing at the local, state, and national level.
At the Center, we are committed to providing critical services to those who need it most and we have no intention of doing anything less. There are tens of thousands of people depending on us. We are a “first responder” for our LGBT community. We have never walked away from our community during tough times and we will not do so now.
We simply cannot shut our doors or end our services. Access to healthcare is a cornerstone of our mission. Given our history in responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, we are especially mindful that people with HIV who are not yet in care are at elevated risk during this new pandemic.
In order to help protect our clients and the community, we have currently restricted youth and senior programming to lunch services and critical needs and are postponing large gatherings. We are especially mindful of the social isolation many of our clients are experiencing and are doing everything we can to stay connected.
Through all of this, many of you are asking how you can make the deepest impact on our community in this time of need. The short answer right now is if you can donate, please do. We cannot do this without you.
With so much uncertainty in the air, we need your support to buoy our health programs and an emergency fund in place to meet shifting needs. We may find ourselves in a position where we extend our Center brand of comfort beyond our doors. Seniors may require food deliveries, creative remote programming may prove to be a larger necessity, and everyone will be in need of extra assurance that this too shall pass.
Every dollar raised right now guarantees healthcare access to someone who would otherwise be turned away, food for someone who may otherwise go without, and safety to someone with nowhere else to turn. You can donate with confidence that we are and always will provide the best care possible for everyone who knocks on our doors.
Please help now if you can.
Thank you and stay safe,