COVID-19 UPDATE: THE CENTER IS CURRENTLY OFFERING ALL SERVICES REMOTELY. OUR BUILDING WILL REMAIN CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC UNTIL AT LEAST JANUARY 2021.
As New York City prepares to enter fall and continue navigating the unavoidable uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m reaching out with an update on The Center’s building closure. After careful consideration, The Center’s building will remain closed to the public until at least January 2021.
Since we closed the building on March 13, 2020, our staff has been able to meet the increased demand for The Center’s services. Despite the building closure, we continue to offer nearly all of our direct programming remotely. Our challenge remains what many are struggling with, that it still isn’t safe to hold indoor community gatherings or events.
Knowing how important our physical space is to so many, we do not make this decision lightly. We have relied on feedback from staff and community members through recent surveys in which over 70% of people who responded expressed that they do not feel comfortable with the idea of The Center reopening in 2020. Our city and state have fought hard to make progress in containing COVID-19, and the risk is too great to our community and staff to reopen at this time.
Additionally, because we have seen a much lower volume of phone calls on the weekends, we are suspending weekend information and referral programming. The Center remains ready to talk with you, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. I know I speak for our entire staff in thanking you for understanding these continued changes.
We continue to offer our services virtually, including mental health counseling, substance use treatment, youth services, support and discussion groups and online arts and culture activities. We are here for those in our community who are struggling with isolation. We are here for those who are grappling with the impact of ongoing violence, especially trans women, Black people and people of color and those who live at the intersection of historically excluded identities. Do not hesitate to reach out by calling 212.620.7310 or via our website chat if we can partner with you to address any challenges you may be facing.
As we all know by now, plans are never really final during COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the situation throughout the country, state and city and will communicate and adjust reopening timelines as needed. Please also be assured that when The Center deems it safe to begin the process of reopening, we will implement rigorous safety measures that adhere to public health guidelines to avoid the spread or transmission of the virus among our visitors.
We are proud of the work we do and how the LGBTQ community continues to come together to offer support and show mutual respect for each other’s health and safety. And while we cannot gather in person, we are still here for you.
Chief Operating Officer