|Our pantry is open Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from noon – 5pm. Please come in to visit us during those hours. If there is something you’d like us to stock in the pantry please contact Bri at [email protected]|
Cal Fresh 2019 UpdateGreat News! For the first time, beginning in June 2019, clients who have Social Security Income will be able to apply for CalFresh and receive a monthly benefit of $130 deposited onto an EBT card. You can’t apply until June 2019 but we can help you apply once June rolls around. Contact your Case Manager or Benefits Advocate for assistance.
|Give OUT Day on April 18th!Mark your calendars now! Give OUT Day is right around the corner, on Thursday April 18th. Give OUT Day is the only national day of giving to LGBTQ organizations. Last year we raised $2,165 to help support our annual Pride Picnic! This year our theme is “Cause to be PROUD”. Please join us in raising even more this year to support the life-affirming programs of The Spahr Center! More information to follow in the next two weeks.|
|Q’d In! News and NotesThe Spahr Center’s Q’d In Programs Build the Well-Being of LGBTQ+ Youth|
By Nina Friedman, LGBTQ Youth Program CoordinatorThe Spahr Center’s Q’d InLGBTQ+ youth programs are dedicated to supporting and empowering LGBTQ+ youth and young people ages 12-25 across Marin County. All of these programs are youth driven and directed. Together, we lead community drop-in support groups in Novato, San Rafael and Mill Valley, as well as in-school support groups in the Tam district.
Another integral part of Q’d In is the Youth Advisory Committee that prepares The Spahr Center’s educational trainings for students, educators and community members. Since its inception one year ago, the Advisory Committee has trained over 800 educators, students, and providers across Marin county. In addition to leading trainings, the Q’d In Youth Advisory Committee plans engaging events for LGBTQ+ youth, young people and families. We hope to continue planning community events and providing educational trainings to increase the safety, visibility, and well-being of LBTQ+ youth and young people!
A shocking 8 in 10 LGBTQ+ students are regularly harassed at school because of who they are, with a harrowing 75% of transgender students reporting physical harassment at school (GLSEN, 2018). I often hear narratives of great progress on LGBTQ+ issues in Marin county, and that “we are in a bubble, within a bubble, within a bubble.” Unfortunately the above statistics are realities present in Marin schools and suggest that, while there has been progress, we have farther to go to build a truly welcoming community.
I started working at The Spahr Center with a larger goal of “supporting LGBTQ+ youth”. When we think about ‘supporting’ any group of people, we often think of direct support — therapy groups, individual counseling, etc. That idea of support often negates the bigger picture and does not account for the environments that people are in; the everyday, the minute. In order to fully support someone, you must ensure the environment they are in is supportive. I recognized the need for an advocacy group made up of students and young people in the community who felt the need to respond to things happening on their campuses and in their lives. The committee had to be peer driven and directed. A year and over 25 trainings later, I still joke that all I do is buy the snacks and open the door. The Youth Advisory Committee focuses their trainings on education and awareness. Most of our curriculum focuses on LGBTQ+ basics; we provide a framework for talking about our personal experiences as members of the LGBTQ+ community and then move on to talk about how best to support LGBTQ+, and specifically transgender and gender expansive, students in schools. Committee members address issues like micro-aggressions, pronouns, and offensive jokes. They successfully address how to interrupt this behavior. For the past year I have had the privilege and honor of seeing Youth Advisory Committee members lead these trainings, speaking from a place of powerful personal narrative. Starting April 1, I will be transitioning out of my current role. I have loved working with and alongside LGBTQ+ youth in the Marin community. I will greatly miss facilitating groups. While I am incredibly sad to be leaving The Spahr Center, I am excited to see where the program goes. I learn something new from the youth I work with every day, and have immense gratitude for all the wonderful community members I have had the opportunity to work alongside. On April 1, Felicia Agrelius will be taking the role of Program Coordinator for LGBTQ+ youth programs at The Spahr Center. Felicia has ample experience supporting, working alongside, and advocating for LGBTQ+ youth and young people-s rights and well-being. In college, Felicia worked at the Queer Resource Center and conducted allyship trainings for students, faculty, and staff groups. After graduating from Scripps College in southern California, she moved to the Bay Area where she has been supporting clients at the Independent Living Resource Center in San Francisco.
Felicia is excited to be supporting all Q’d In programs and services. In addition to facilitating our community and in-school drop in groups for LGBTQ+ youth, she is dedicated to expanding our community activities. In line with the Spahr Center’s mission, Felicia is committed to principals of justice and intersectionality. We are both lucky and excited to have her join the Spahr family!Basic Terminology:*Cisgender/Cis | A term for someone whose gender identity aligns with their sex assigned to them at birth.*Non-Binary | Someone who does not identify on the male/female binary. Non-binary people may identify as being both male/ female, somewhere in between, or as falling completely outside these categories. While many non-binary people also identify as transgender, not all non-binary people do. *Transgender/Trans | An umbrella term encompassing many gender identities of those who do not identify or exclusively identify with their sex assigned at birth. Being transgender does not imply any specific sexual orientation. Therefore, transgender people may identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. Note that transgender does not have an “ed” at the end.
|Monthly Mixer/Open HouseOur Monthly Mixer is traditionally held on the 4th Monday of the month at San Rafael Joes. For April, though, we’d like to invite our Mixers, and the entire Spahr Center family, to our April 22nd Open House! We will show you around the new office, share refreshments, and say a warm hello! Be there!|
|The Board of Directors Welcomes Clients and Group Participants to Join In Guiding the Work of The Spahr CenterBy Dana Van Gorder, Interim Executive Director|
It is absolutely essential to The Spahr Center’s ability to deliver the best possible programs that we include our clients and community members in shaping the work of the agency. Please consider two current opportunities to have an active voice in decision making about our policies, programs, and operations.
First, we have a nine member HIV Advisory Committee that provides advice about how to strengthen existing Spahr Center services, and recommends new efforts to meet emerging needs of clients. You can find more information and an application by going to www.thespahrcenter.organd clicking on the Get Involved heading . Or please call 415.886.8551
Additionally, the Board of Directors welcomes all Spahr Center clients and group participants to consider joining them in its work. The Board oversees the work of the Executive Director, oversees finances and fundraising, assures the strength of agency programs and operations, and sets policies for how things are done by the agency. More information about the role of Board members, as well as an application to be considered for membership, can also be found at www.thespahrcenter.org under the Get Involved heading . Once again, feel free to call 415.886.8551
I am happy to talk to you at any time about any questions or thoughts you may have about the future of our work at The Spahr Center. You are the reason we are here, and we are fully dedicated to making sure you have a voice in the work we do. I can be emailed at [email protected] or called at 415.886.8551
|The Spahr Center offers a variety of social support groups. 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.Women’s Support Group – this group is for women living with or affected by HIV.Long Term Survivors Group – this group is for any individual who identifies as a “long-term survivor” of HIV.LGBTQ Groups
Parent Groups – these groups are for parents/caregivers of gender expansive and/or questioning youthYouth Drop-in Groups – these groups are for any LGBTQ youthSenior Discussion Groups – these are facilitated discussion groups for LGBTQ identified adults of any age.Men’s Brown Bag Lunch – this is a group of older gay men that meet for lunch/discussion
|Closed for Staff DevelopmentThe Spahr Center’s offices will be closed on the morning of Friday, March 29th for a staff development retreat. We will open at 1:30 pm. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.|
|Upcoming Outside Events|
|Here are some events coming up in April that are not sponsored by The Spahr Center; however, we think they might be of interest to our clients.|
4/6 &4/7 When the Bud Blooms – An LGBTQ play4/11 Healing with Feeling – an Attitudinal Healing Support Group4/16 LGBTQ Senior Game Day – at Sam’s in Novato4/18 LGBTQ Senior Breakfast – at Sam’s in Novato4/20 Queer Book Talk – at Falkirk Cultural Center