Legal-name: One in Long Beach, Inc.
Previous-name: The LGBTQ Center Long Beach
Address: 2017 E. 4th Street
City: Long Beach
Officer: Porter Gilberg, Executive Director
ContactName: Porter Gilberg
Title: Executive Director
GrantPurpose: Funding will be used to support LGBTQ clients impacted by the COVID-19 crisis with food and critical supplies and continued access to mental health services.
Periodoftime: One year of Total Cost of Project listed, 6 months of funding requested.
Audienceserved: Eldery, immunocompromised, disabled, and/or unemployed/housing insecure/food insecure LGBTQ individuals
Demoofaudience: Ages 18-80+, LGBTQ, all races, low socio-economic status (poverty)
District: Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
1. What disaster recovery service have already been provided? : At the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, The LGBTQ Center Long Beach (The Center) immediately began transitioning all group, case management, counseling, and emergency services to remote platforms. Additionally, the Senior Services, Youth & Family Services, Trans Health Services, Health Services, Mental Health Services, and Domestic Violence Services departments began operating departmental extensions using a hotline framework, immediately answering calls and providing crisis support, case management, and service navigation. The Legal Services Department has begun expediting requests for legal assistance and representation by contacting clients within 48 hours of receiving a request for support. Staff and volunteer resources were also immediately increased to begin mapping and documenting available area services to address issues of housing, food, and economic security.
Currently, all departments are offering services traditionally offered in person via phone, chat, and video conferencing including existing support groups for LGBTQ seniors, youth, children, families, and transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) people in order to alleviate social-isolation and associated mental health distress. Mental health counseling services, a critically important resource for our community, have transitioned to phone counseling appointments with all fees temporarily reduced or waived for clients expressing financial hardship.
The Center also immediately began assisting clients with grocery delivery and by supporting older adults with financial means in navigating online grocery shopping and no-contact delivery. Specific to grocery delivery, The Center has been collaborating with the AIDS Food Store to provide weekly pick up and deliver food directly to low-income clients at extremely high-risk for contracting COVID-19 and/or without transportation.
The Senior Services Department has also instituted a “friendly phone call” program where limited staff and volunteer resources are dedicated to regularly contacting more than 60 current LGBTQ senior clients, with priority given to clients known to live alone and/or those with chronic health conditions. In addition, the department immediately expanded digital programming to create additional weekly drop-in groups to reduce social isolation and provide a non-threatening social space for staff to discreetly assess current unmet needs in our LGBTQ older adult population.
All departments are also currently prioritizing case management activities to support clients in accessing essential resources and services including mental health counseling, medication management, health information, housing assistance, employment resources, and providing assistance with applications for social services including Medi-Cal and Cal-Fresh.
2. What disaster recovery service will be provided by this grant? : The National LGBT Cancer Network and Human Rights Campaign have recently published research noting that LGBTQ individuals are disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. According to the National LGBT Cancer Network, “LGBTQ people are at a particular risk for COVID-19” as a result of higher reported rates of tobacco use, HIV infection, and cancer as well as disproportionate disparity in access to quality and culturally competent healthcare. LGBTQ older adults experience extreme risk as they are less likely to seek services from traditional aging providers like senior centers and food banks, and according to SAGE are 2x more likely to live alone and 4x less likely to have children than compared to non-LGBTQ people. The Network explicitly implores COVID-19 “responses to take into account exceptionally vulnerable members of LGBTQ communities…” including older adults and TGNC people. Further, the Human Rights Campaign notes that more than 5 million LGBTQ people work in industries impacted by COVID-19. This is especially alarming as LGBTQ people are more likely to live in poverty (21.6% of all LGBTQ people and 29.4% of TGNC people), and lack access to adequate medical care (17% of LGBTQ people have no form of insurance), paid medical leave, and basic necessities during the epidemic. Further, True Colors United states that LGBTQ youth are 120% more likely to experience homelessness than compared to non-LGBTQ youth. Overall, prior to the COVID-19 crisis the national LGBTQ unemployment rate was nearly 10%.
Funding will be used to immediately address the severe impact of historic disparities coupled with the crippling emotional, financial, and health impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. Specifically funding will be used to (1) create a formalized food and essential item no contact delivery program to serve low-income LGBTQ older adults, (2) support the purchase and delivery of food and essential items for LGBTQ youth and TGNC adults, (3) ensure continued access to free mental health counseling for LGBTQ clients currently experiencing financial hardship and provide free counseling to new un(der)-employed LGBTQ clients, (4) expand The Center’s case management and service navigation capacity for LGBTQ older adults, and (5) expand social support programming to decrease social isolation and associated mental health distress for LGBTQ older adults who are currently severely impacted by the City’s Safer at Home mandate.
In total, The Center anticipates directly serving 100-150 clients over the course of 6 months with LBCF funding. Senior Services will immediately increase hours for the department’s sole staff member by .25 FTE in order to support the implementation of a formalized food and essential item delivery program and increase case management and social programming. Mental Health Services will reserve 10 counseling slots weekly for clients unable to afford services and Senior, Trans Health, and Youth and Family Services will distribute $25 gift cards to 15 low-income clients weekly to support the purchase of groceries and essential items.
3. What individuals (and/or organizations) will you assist? : Funding will be used to directly support LGBTQ older adults, LGBTQ youth, and TGNC youth, adults, and older adults, all demographics currently identified by LGBTQ research leaders as most at-risk during the COVID-19 crisis.
4. What other disaster recovery funds have you received? What amount?: None.
5. What other disaster recovery funds have you applied for?: (1) Kaiser Hospital Foundation and (2) United Way of Greater Los Angeles (separate funding request for PPE for HIV/STI testing)