Stephanie Harris (Staff)

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I felt called to work at the Los Angeles LGBT Center because it’s a place where people can truly be themselves and feel safe, accepted, and supported. It is where I feel I can be my authentic self and is an opportunity to work on the frontlines serving our community.

I am normally responsible for the planning and execution of on-site programming for our Triangle Square residents. But my role has changed drastically since the coronavirus crisis began, and I am now managing the senior food pantry and grocery delivery program.

We know that many folks are working with limited financial resources, and we encourage our clients to protect their health by staying home. We have an incredible crew of volunteers who make scheduling calls, pack bags, and deliver groceries every day. We could not operate at this volume if we didn’t have their support.

This experience has reminded me how resourceful and agile I can be when it comes to working during a crisis. Due to the urgency of the need, we had to build this program from scratch while simultaneously rolling it out, and it felt at times like we were building the plane while it was taking off.

In spite of that, we’ve created a program that not only delivers a vital resource to our clients, but exceptional and efficient customer service as well. The past few months have also made me appreciate our clients even more than I already did. It’s so gratifying to be able to provide this service for them and touch base with them on the phone each week.

More than once, I have had clients burst into tears — happy tears —while scheduling their grocery delivery because they’re so touched that we are providing this service. On one occasion, I just sat on the phone with a client while they let their emotions out and this had me in tears as well. I know this service is more than just groceries to our clients — it’s a reminder that someone is thinking of them, that we have their back. It is so worthwhile to know how much this brightens their day.

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Hometown: La Cañada, CA

Year Started Working at Center: 2019

Staff Position: Activities Coordinator, Senior Services

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