An Update from Marin’s Spahr Center

All of us at The Spahr Center hope you are taking good care of yourselves and loved ones, and that you remain healthy! If there is anything we can do to help you get through this, please be in touch at info@thespahrcenter.org or call me at 415.886.8551. 
Let me begin by acknowledging our mighty team, my deep respect and appreciation go out to the entire staff of The Spahr Center. I shouldn’t be surprised at the way in which they have risen to the occasion with creativity, commitment and even more hard work. But I am sure grateful.
We want all of you to know that our work definitely continues here at The Spahr Center. In order to minimize physical contact between all individuals, staff is working remotely during the shelter in place. Services for clients are by appointment only at 415-457-2487
Programs and Services Updates
Leandro, Case Management Assistant, is phoning all of our 220 HIV-positive clients to check-in on them and assess their needs so the rest of our awesome HIV services team (Leslie, David, and Maria) can take care of those needs. Our food pantry continues to be stocked and is operational; however, to further minimize person-to-person contact we will either make a delivery to you at home or fill a bag for you to pick-up in our lobby. Please contact us to get set up with a delivery or to make arrangements for a pick-up.
Andy and Rhiannon on our Harm Reduction team have implemented new policies and procedures at our syringe access sites to assure the safety of all staff, volunteers and clients. We are pleased the County agrees that our lifesaving harm reduction services are an essential service that must continue providing clean syringes, safe injection supplies, as well as Naloxone (Narcan). 
Fel, our LGBTQ Youth Program Coordinator, is maintaining close contact with, and organizing virtual gatherings for, our queer youth in an effort to keep them connected to each other and their community. This connection is especially important for youth whose experiences of rejection at home and challenges with self-esteem are being exacerbated as a result of being home 24/7. 
Nancy Flaxman, LGBT Senior Discussion Group Facilitator has called all of the discussion group participants to check in, assess needs, and arrange to have others be in touch to prevent isolation. I am happy to announce that we were able to let Nancy return to retirement as Bill Blackburn comes aboard as our Interim Senior Program Coordinator to expand our services in this area. Our Mental Health team, Deb, Debbie and Ari are expanding our capacity to offer individual therapy to all of our clients as a result of increased funding for our mental health services. 
Lastly, some fantastic news – our own Jane Spahr has been elected Community Grand Marshall of the 2020 San Francisco Pride Parade & Celebration! Thank you to everyone who voted to make sure she received this great honor. We obviously had great voter turnout from Janie’s massive family of admirers! 
I watched Jane’s remarkable leadership and achievements from across the bridge during my San Francisco-based career – a beacon of light coming from Marin County. It was so clear what a powerful force for good she was in the world; making certain that LGBTQ+ people in Marin are respected and thriving, that the county’s response to HIV/AIDS is comprehensive and effective, and leading advocacy to insist that Christian institutions be more Christian. Very recently, Jane has also helped to open Trans Heartline, a home in San Anselmo that welcomes transgender people post-surgery and supports their recovery. I only had the joy of meeting Jane upon joining the staff of The Spahr Center, and I feel more whole with her warm and encouraging presence in my life. I thank her for all of the support she has provided as we strengthen the work of this agency. Today we acutely feel the need for compassionate, courageous and visionary leadership – the kind that is only second nature for Jane (for President)! 
People have been great about sending me interesting things that I thought would be good to share with others. Hopefully you’re not inundated. Here are a few:
This astronaut spent a year in space, here are his tips on thriving and surviving in isolation!Read more
Watch VideoAre you sure you’re washing your hands well? Check out this video!
Opera fan? You’re in luck! The Met is streaming a different encore presentation from the company’s Live in HD series each night. Each performance will be available for a period of 23 hours, from 7:30 p.m. EDT until 6:30 p.m. the following day. See lineup
Virtual AquariumThe Monterey Bay Aquarium is live streaming videos of of some of their best attractions! From coral reefs to kelp forests, and don’t forget to check out the shark habitat. 
What a great time to practice yoga, with our very own Janna Barkin! Join her on Facebook live at 12:30 pm Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays or find her teaching at YogaWorks Live.YogaWorks Live
Check it outHere is a great list of things to do online – somewhat youth focused, but we’re all young at heart! 
I want to express our deep gratitude to BioMarin, which has very generously become a Visionary Sponsor of The Spahr Center’s 5th Anniversary celebration. Enormous gratitude to the LGBTQ+ employee group at the company for this exciting partnership.
Finally, we will have news on the status of our May 31 fundraising event and Pride Picnic soon! 
Our warmest regards. Once again, do not hesitate to be in touch if there is something we can help with, or if you have questions and comments. 
We will conquer this, together!
Dana Van Gorder
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