The LGBTQ+ community is no stranger to adversity. From hateful and deadly homophobic laws to the Stonewall riots, and throughout the fight for equal rights that continues to this day, our community soldiers on. In the 1980s, when others turned a blind eye while our siblings’ lives were decimated by the AIDS epidemic, our community rose to meet the crisis, we demanded our country’s leaders take action, and we held them accountable. We have dealt with adversity directly within our own community; moments that have demanded accountability for actions and inactions. We acknowledge that we have not all always consistently? responded to crises with consideration for ALL members of our community. We can do better. We will do better.
During times of greatest adversity, we have seen how strong we are when we leverage the resources of our entire community, and we are at our best when we rise up together to meet a challenge. We know how to fight an uphill battle because we have been here before.
Today, we face a global pandemic unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes. Through collaboration and cooperation, we are reaching out to meet the needs of our communities and those most impacted by this emergency. We will fight this challenge with deliberate, focused actions toward the most marginalized LGBTQ+ community members. We must help each other to ensure we all get through to the other side of this epoch moment in history.
Below is a growing list of community resources, including LGBTQ+ organizations, working to aggregate information/resources for the highlighted areas; this list is by no means exhaustive:
YOUTH HOUSING RESOURCES AND SUPPORT
TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY RESOURCES
- OCTOPUS, LLC: contact Kimberly Sue Griffiths at ten.tta@sylrebmikshtiffirg
- Transgender Children’s Defense Fund: (general resources)
HUMAN SERVICES AND FOOD ACCESS RESOURCES
- City of Columbus Human Services Resources
- Mid-Ohio Foodbank
- LifeCare Alliance
- Project Open Hand (LifeCare Alliance)
- United Way of Central Ohio
- Human Rights Campaign Foundation: (general resources)
- Meals for school-age children by Columbus City Schools: Includes a detailed map of pick up locations, as well as free transportation offered by COTA to these sites.
- Ohio Benefits Manage or apply for healthcare, childcare, food, and cash benefits.
BUSINESS & FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
- City of Columbus Small Business Resources
- Ohio Chamber of Commerce
- Thrive Columbus: (general resources)
- Payroll Protection Program
- Financial Relief for Huntington Bank Customers: Information on pausing payments, financial assistance, etc
- Finance Fund: Zero percent interest loans for small businesses and nonprofits. The use of proceeds will be unrestricted.
- The Central Ohio African American Chamber of Commerce (COAACC)
- Emergency Fund for Black LGBTQIA+ People in Columbus, Ohio
- Mental Health Toolkit: Helping someone with anxiety or depression during COVID19.
- Mental Health SELF CARE Toolkit: How to care for yourself during social distancing.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness: NAMI comin’ in clutch with a COVID19 guide!
- National Institute on Drug Abuse: We have to admit quarantine is a HUGE trigger for anyone fighting substance abuse.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: More of a clinical focus, but SAMHSA’s considerations for treatment during COVID19. Also important to browse if you wonder what’s going on with literature in the BH/AOD world during a pandemic.
- Free Online Workouts via YMCA: Find videos ranging from Workouts of the Day (WOD), yoga, barre & kid classes
- FREE Headspace App for Healthcare Workers: Follow the link & scroll down to “Have Questions?” & click the form to submit a photo of your badge to receive a sign-up link.
- FREE Workout Apps for Healthcare Workers: Fill out the form with your work email for FREE yoga, barre, HIIT and 7-minute workout apps until July 1, 2020.
- Follow Along Dance Classes: Adorable & high energy dance classes for any age. (ok technically kids but whatever, everyone can have fun.)
- Cute March Mind & Body Calendar: Increase mindfulness with this adorable calendar! Follow daily for small prompts to bring awareness back to within.
- How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus
- For Kids: Comic Explaining Coronavirus
- Have Fun & Learn, A Social Distancing Sharing Group: A GREAT local group started by a former coworker, with parents & educators sharing wonderful ideas for engaging kids!
- Share My Lesson: A website for educators, parents & support staff to share lesson plans & information on remote learning.
- Online Resources from Columbus Metropolitan Library for Parents: Includes online learning resources, activities & recreation information for children.
- Family Support Toolbox: Academic resources for families from the Ohio Department of Education
- Grades K-3 At Home Learning: Resources for families with children in grades k-3
- Middle School Learning: Educational resources geared specifically towards curriculum and kids of middle school age
- High School Learning: Relevant educational resources for high school students.
- Virtual Museum Tours: Entertain kids with online tours of world-renowned Museums!
- Museums, Zoos & Aquariums: A longer list of facilities offering online streaming, tours, etc to keep kids entertained.
GENERAL RESOURCES & ITEMS OF INTEREST
- Stonewall Columbus Trailblazers – Trailblazers Group for LGBTQ+ Adults 50+. Subscribe to our email list to stay up-to-date with all of the Trailblazer activities
- Columbus Gay Mens Chorus – Have some fun today! Sing and dance along with the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus!
- Equitas Health – Transgender Health and Wellness Live Event – Friday, April 17th @ 1PM – A wellness conversation for the transgender community.
Additional resources on these topics as well as links to General Resources will be updated and maintained by Stonewall Columbus at http://www.stonewallcolumbus.org/covid-19
We are being as intentional and as comprehensive in our reach as we can. In this effort, we need your help to ensure we are supporting all facets of our community. If you are in need of resources or have information and resources to share, please contact Kathy Crowe (gro.submulocllawenots@eworck).
Let’s be sure to take care of each other and ourselves by:
- If capable, staying at home except for essential trips (groceries and/or medicines)
- If comfortable, wearing protective facial covering
- Engaging in proper sanitary techniques
- Wash our hands
- Sneeze into our [respective] inner elbows
- Don’t touch our own faces [or those of others]
- Adhere to these NEW Safe-Sex Practices
- Keeping appropriate physical distance
- 6 feet buffer when out of the home
- No [cocktail and dinner included] parties
- No playdates [for us or our kids]
- No group sports [virtual is ok]
- Checking in with friends and family
- Reach out with a phone call or video chat
We will survive this together, as a community, by holding one another up and by helping each other out–as we meet the challenges ahead.
The undersigned Columbus LGBTQ+ Community Organizations
- Black, Out and Proud – Eboni Partlow, President
- Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus – Adam Burk, Executive Director
- Create Columbus Commission – Densil R. Porteous, Chair
- Diocese of Southern Ohio – Rev deniary mueller, Legislative Liaison
- Diversity Chamber of Central Ohio – Allison L. Harrison, Esq., President
- Equality Ohio – Alana Jochum, Executive Director
- Equitas Health – BIll Hardy, President & CEO
- Equitas Health Institute
- Safe Point
- Family Pride Network – Joe Matessa, President & Co-Founder
- Get The Vote Out – Brad Henry, Founder
- GLSEN Central Ohio – Alex Ryan, Co-Chair
- Human Rights Campaign – Columbus Steering Committee – Stefani Borg, Board of Governors
- Kaleidoscope Youth Center – Erin Upchurch, Executive Director
- Legacy Fund of the Columbus Foundation – Jennifer Brunner, Chair
- Lesbians Benefitting the Arts, producers of the Ohio Lesbain Festival – Chris Cozad, President
- PFLAG Columbus – Jaron Terry, Board President
- OCTOPUS, LLC (Organizing Communities Transgender Outreach Promoting United Support) – Kimberly Sue Griffiths, Executive Director
- Stonewall Columbus – AJ Casey, Executive Director
- Stonewall Democrats of Central Ohio – Stella Shaw, President
- Thrive Columbus – Mary B. Relotto, Founder
- Transgender Children’s Legal Defense Fund – Ben Cooper, Board President
- True Q Digital Media Network – Curtis Davis, Managing Member
- United Way of Central Ohio – Lisa Courtice, Chief Executive Officer
- Zettabytes.Today – Rini Das + Lisa Kagy, CoFounders