Marin’s LGBTQ Spahr Center News & Events

LGBTQ+ and HIV Advocacy Day Builds Key Partnerships

By Dana Van Gorder, Executive DirectorThe Spahr Center is firmly committed to public policy advocacy. We aim to strengthen the current government response to the needs of LGBTQ+ people and people living with and affected by HIV in Marin. We are increasing our presence with County Boards and Commissions, and describing our needs in several processes that will result in long-term health improvement plans. Policy makers have been great about listening, and LGBTQ+ people are increasingly recognized in key documents and conversations that will drive resource allocation.
On January 23, 2020 forty-two constituents participated in The Spahr Center’s first LGBTQ+ and HIV Advocacy Day, learning how to have an effective meeting with a legislator, and then holding one-hour meetings with all 5 members of the Marin County Board of Supervisors. It was an exhilarating and moving day. We want to warmly thank Supervisors Rice, Arnold, Connoly, Rodoni, and Sears, as well as their very helpful aides, for the generous time and thoughtfulness they devoted to these visits. Our thanks as well to SAGA, the County’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group, for their support…. Click the button below to read the entire article.READ MORE
Fentanyl – It’s in More Than Just HeroinBy Andy Fyne, Harm Reduction Director 
Fentanyl is an opioid 50 times more potent than heroin. It now accounts for more than 30% of opioid overdoses nationally and in Marin, there were 19 deaths attributed to fentanyl poisoning in 2019. Fentanyl is no longer just an additive to heroin as it is showing up in every illegal drug including meth and cocaine. Recently, counterfeit Percocet pills were found to have caused a fentanyl overdose in a Marin resident… continue reading the article hereOur Warmest Thanks To Nancy FlaxmanAlmost everyone knows brilliant powerhouse Nancy Flaxman, who has accomplished transformational work in support of LGBTQ seniors at The Spahr Center and Spectrum before it. Nancy is currently best known for her strong facilitation of our Novato -based Senior Discussion group, which has helped dozens of seniors find a loving community and support with pressing issues. 
In January, Nancy deservedly retired – mostly. Our deepest admiration and appreciation go out to her. Read her note to the community about this transition hereJoin Our Pride Committee!

Are you ready to help us plan our 2020 Pride celebration?! 
Last year’s Pride Picnic at Piper Park was attended by over 250 LGBTQ+ community members and their allies. Almost double the size of our Pride Picnic in 2018! This year we are looking forward to another fantastic Pride Celebration and we need your help to make it happen! This year we would like to involve the community in the planning process. Do you have any fabulous ideas to help make our 2020 Pride Celebration Louder & Prouder?! Then we need YOU!
Please join us for a Pride planning committee informational meeting and let’s make your ideas come to fruition! No ideas? No worries! If you want to be involved, we want you to be involved! Join us for an evening of brainstorming, conversation & community! 
All ages & abilities welcome!Where: The Spahr Center, 150 Nellen Ave, St. 100 Corte MaderaWhen: Tuesday, February 11thTime: 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
*Snacks will be provided*
Updates from our Senior Advisory Council (S.A.C.)By Julie Beach
The Spahr Center has raised over $15,500 from year-end appeals earmarked specifically for LGBTQ senior programs. This generous support means that senior program development will now increase. The first step is to recruit and hire a part-time employee whose focus will be on senior programs. At first the job will be several hours per month. However, fundraising is ongoing and includes competing for state, county and private foundation funds in order to expand the position to full time by the end of 2020. The right person for the Senior Program Coordinator might just be YOU, or someone you know! We hope everyone will think about recruiting within your own social and community circles so that we can build a talent pool for the position. More details will follow! 
Read all of the S.A.C.’s updates on the Whistlestop partnership, the recruitment of new members and much more! Click the button below to see their full report.
S.A.C Report
Annual Public Session of The Spahr Center’s Board of DirectorsThe Spahr Center’s Board of Directors has devoted its March 2, 2020 Board Meeting to comments and suggestions from clients and the community about the current and future work of the agency. The meeting begins at 4:00 at The Spahr Center’s office at 150 Nellen Avenue in Corte Madera. For information, email
Interesting Job Opportunities and Training
Supporting our clients to enter – or re-enter – the job market is something we at The Spahr Center hope to do more of. We wanted to share two current opportunities of special interest.
Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)
SCSEP is a federally funded job readiness program that helps older adults, aged 55 or more, transition from on-the-job training back into the workforce. The SCSEP program provides participants with an orientation and training, and then places eligible participants in on-the-job training with participating non-profit and government agencies. Participants are paid a minimum wage training stipend for up to 12 hours a week. After training, participants search for permanent jobs they feel newly prepared for! Learn More

Census 2020 Urgently Needs Part-Time Helpers
The 2020 Census will begin in March and continue to July 2020. Traditionally, LGBTQ+ people have been undercounted in the Census and United Way of the Bay Area has provided us with a grant to encourage residents in our hard-to-count communities to apply for census taker jobs to ensure everyone is counted in 2020. Critical policy and funding decisions are based on the data gathered through the Census. 
Want to learn more? Join an upcoming Census Jobs Workshops and learn all you need to know and get help filling out the online application. Learn More
Two Upcoming Talks of Interest
The Spahr Center is excited to announce a partnership with the Corte Madera library to host talks and movie nights for the LGBTQ+ and HIV communities and our allies. The first two exciting talks will be taking place in March! First up is a March 5 discussion about the future of HIV treatment and the search for a cure. On March 19, we co-host a talk about queer history of the Bay Area. Please join us for these great learning and community building opportunities! 
Will There Be a Cure for HIV/AIDS?Learn MoreQueer History of the Bay AreaLearn More
Trans Heartline Seeks Volunteers
Trans Heartline is a safe post-op recovery house in San Anselmo and one of our treasured community partners. They are in need of volunteers to help further their mission. 
Are you available to:drive guests to and from appointmentsoccasional help with errands for the guestsmeal prep and deliveryBe present in the house for a 3-hour shiftShifts are 9 am – 12 pm or 1 pm – 4 pm or 6 pm – 9 pm. Weekday help is needed most. Transgender training is required for all new volunteers; the next training session will be Saturday, March 7th 9 am – noon. Want to learn more or register for the next training? Email Janie Spahr at 
Social Support GroupsThe Spahr Center offers a variety of social support groups. We are excited to announce that we have three new groups starting in 2020! Below is a list of the groups, with a short description. Please click any of the groups to learn more!
  Latino Support Group – this group is for Latinos living with or affected by HIV.

Friends and Family of LGBTQ youth – This group is a welcoming and safe place to discuss how to best support our trans and queer youth.Thriving in Marin – this group is for any individual who identifies as a “long-term survivor” of HIV.  

Youth Drop-in Groups – these groups are for any LGBTQ youth

Marin Queer/Trans Support Group – This group is for anyone queer, trans or questioning of any age.  

Caregiver Groups – these groups are for parents/caregivers of gender expansive and/or questioning youth 

Senior Discussion Groups – these are facilitated discussion groups for LGBTQ identified adults of any age.

Men’s Brown Bag Lunch – this is a casual discussion group for men that meet for lunch and discussion.Trans Community Group – this is a group for trans and nonbinary adults.
Upcoming Events
2/18 – LGBT Senior Game Day – at Sam’s in Novato

2/19 – Quarterly LGBT Senior Luncheon – at The Marin Yacht Club 2/20 – LGBT Senior Breakfast – at Sam’s in Novato

2/20 – Healing w/ Feeling – an Attitudinal Healing Support Group

2/25 – LGBT Women’s Coffee – at Sam’s in Novato