Update on Center Building Closure through September
After careful consideration and following the guidance of city and state officials, The Center has decided that our building will remain closed through September 30, 2020. Please note that we are also adjusting our Saturday and Sunday virtual hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during this time. While we have seen great progress in the efforts to contain COVID-19, we recognize that in the absence of any proven preventative measures or treatments, the risk would be too great to our community and staff to reopen at this time.
Until we feel confident that the pandemic is not putting our staff, clients and community in danger by opening our building, The Center will continue to offer our programs and services remotely. Our staff has made incredible strides in adapting to the ongoing situation, and we are able to offer nearly all of our services online. In fact, remote operations have allowed us to expand our reach, and we are now connecting with more clients than ever in program areas like substance use treatment and mental health counseling. We are grateful to our staff and our clients for coming together to find creative ways to connect and meet the community’s needs.
While we anticipate the building being closed through September, we recognize that the COVID-19 situation can change quickly and this timeline may be adjusted. If public health advice indicates that community centers like The Center in New York City can reopen safely considering our visitors and staff, we will provide at least one week’s notice before reopening to the public. Please be assured that when The Center deems it safe to reopen, we will implement rigorous safety measures that adhere to public health guidelines to avoid the spread or transmission of the virus among our visitors. Our operations team has actively planned for this and has already begun the process of ordering supplies and installing social distancing markers and sanitation stations to ensure that we are ready to open as soon as it is safe to do so.
This has been an incredibly difficult time for the LGBTQ community and for all New Yorkers, and we know that for many, The Center’s building serves as a crucial lifeline and a touchstone. We understand that it is upsetting not to be able to access the building as the safe space that so many call home. Please know that while we cannot gather in person, we are still here for you. Our information and referral staff are available via phone and website chat. They are here to provide resources to help with coping and address any challenges you may be facing. We appreciate your continued support as The Center works to serve the LGBTQ communities of New York in the best and safest ways possible.