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COVID-19 Resources

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The Office of LGBTQ Affairs aims to consistently update the below resources. However, please note information is often changing at a fast pace. Please consult directly with any resource referral to confirm the accuracy of information provided. If you come across any outdated or inaccurate information, or if you have resources you would like us to consider adding to the FAQs, please contact lgbtq@ceo.sccgov.org or 408-678-2900.​​
faqGroupLookupString: 1. LGBTQ Medical Care
1. LGBTQ Medical Care
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Am I able to book appointments at the Gender Health Center during shelter-in-place?
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Yes, the Gender Health Center (GHC) is booking appointments at this time. Please note that all newly made appointments, including those for new patients, will be booked as phone visits for the safety of patients, staff, and all others utilizing the clinic’s building. The need for an in-person visit will be determined and arranged on a case-by-case basis. If there is any question about appointments or otherwise, please contact the GHC call center at 408-977-4550 for the most up to date information and/or to request a call back. ​
I do not have access to a reliable internet connection to attend telehealth appointments. Is there anything I can do?
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County health providers, including the Gender Health Center, currently offer appointments over the phone; no internet connection is needed. Contact your doctor’s office directly for more information.


If you do not receive healthcare from the County, please contact your provider direc​tly for their specific policies and procedures during this time.​

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I’ve run out of my medication (e.g. hormones, PrEP, etc.). Will I be able to refill the prescription?
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Yes! Pharmacies are still open and providers are still able to send in prescriptions. If you have a reliable mailing address, patients are encouraged to utilize mail order pharmacy options for home delivery. Many of the VMC pharmacies, including the Downtown Clinic (where the Gender Health Center is located) pharmacy, are providing this option.​

I was set to undergo a gender affirming procedure. Will it go ahead as planned?
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Most procedures that are not immediately life-threatening have been cancelled for the time being; this includes gender affirming procedures. Different surgeons have given different timeframes for how far out they are cancelling procedures and when they will reassess at what point they will resume. While we understand the importance of these procedures, please be aware that our current situation is constantly changing. Timing for these procedures will likely depend on how the COVID-19 crisis unfolds over time. If you have a scheduled procedure, please contact your surgeon’s office directly for the most accurate information about timing and next steps.


*For Gender Health Center patients - if your procedure is postponed, please be assured they will continue to support you to keep the process moving forward!

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faqGroupLookupString: 2. Physical + Mental + Social Health
2. Physical + Mental + Social Health
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I’m a healthcare professional (that was out of work, retired, or to volunteer). Where can I sign up to help?
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The County of Santa Clara and the State of California have set up initiatives to recruit healthcare workers to help with the COVID-19 crisis. To help with the COVID-19 crisis simply join The County of Santa Clara Volunteer Program and for the State program click here to sign up. Thank you for your service!​

I am struggling with sobriety during shelter-in-place. What resources are out there for me?
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We understand this can be an extremely difficult time for folks in recovery. Please visit: 


If you are looking for something more specific, please contact our Community Outreach Specialist at kilani.louis@ceo.sccgov.org or 408-309-5432.


I would like to get tested for STDs. Is that possible during shelter-in-place? Sex and COVID-19 – what should I know?
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At this time testing services are limited, but you may be able to get tested if you fall under the following exceptions. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, STD clinic services will only be available to patients meeting one or more of the following criteria until further notice:

  • Patients experiencing signs/symptoms of an STD

  • Patients who have had sex with someone who tested positive for an STD

  • Patients who tested positive for an STD and need treatment

  • Patients needing a PrEP follow-up appointment

  • ​Patients interested in starting PrEP


If you would like more information please visit the Public Health Department’s STD & HIV Testing Services page. 


The County’s Public Health Department is taking numerous steps to ensure that all members of the Santa Clara County community have access to care at this time. Therefore, elective surgeries and access to care with regards to non-essential medical treatment is being limited to adequately address COVID-19. For additional resources, please see Planned Parenthood’s guide to sexual health services available during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Bill Wilson Cent​er Connections continues to provide STD/STI testing at their onsite clinic on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 12:00pm-4:00pm. They are not providing COVID-19 testing but can make referrals as necessary.

Sex and COVID-19, what should I know?
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Please visit Fenway Health’s COVID-19 and Your Sexual Health guide for more information. And refer to the Public Health Department’s Novel Coronavirus webpage for the most up-to-date recommendations regarding COVID-19. ​
I can’t meet in-person with my peer support group. How do I access peer support care at this time?
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Peer support groups have had to adapt quickly due to the shelter-in-place order. Many groups are also currently releasing information regarding virtual groups that will be meeting frequently, so stay in touch with your particular group for the most up to date information. Additionally, you can visit the Behavioral Health Services Department’s peer support page for County-related care, as well as their website for information about other available resources.

 

Here are some LGBTQ+ support groups that are available:

        • Institute on Aging’s 24-hour toll-free Friendship Line is the only accredited crisis line in the country for people aged 60 years and older, and adults living with disabilities. 1-800-971-0016. 
      • Free Call-Out Program for Santa Clara County
        • Provides outbound phone calls to anyone in Santa Clara County who is 60 years and older, or any adult with a disability or mental health condition. Clients can receive up to seven 10-minute phone calls a week, depending on the client’s needs. Call IOA Connect at 415-750-4111 or 650-424-1411 to get started.
  • Other helpful community resources:
    • Law Foundation of Silicon Valley continues to operate its Housing Program for free legal advice and representation on housing-related matters to low income individuals, and its Health/Mental Health Program for free legal advice and representation to individuals who identify as having mental health or developmental disabilities and/or who live with HIV or AIDS. Both programs are available to LGBTQ+ residents of Santa Clara County.
    • Transgender Law Center (TLC) has launched a weekly video call series on how trans people can support each other and advocate at a local, state, and federal level for the care, resources, and support they deserve during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tune in on their Facebook page Thursdays at 2:00pm, and visit their website for recordings of past events.​
I’m looking for mental healthcare (counseling, therapy, etc.) that is LGBTQ competent. Where should I look?
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The Behavioral Health Services Department Q Corner program has peer staff available to help you access and get connected to LGBTQ competent resources and services.   

 

Please visit the general Behavioral Health Services Department website for information about other available services as many are experiencing more anxiety, grief, and isolation at this time. Please call the County Behavioral Health Call Center at 800-704-0900 for referrals and information about Mental Health and Substance Use Treatment Services, as well as access to the Suicide & Crisis Services 24 Hour Hotline. 

 

The Outlet program of Adolescent Counseling Services (ACS) is providing one-on-one telehealth counseling services to LGBTQ+ youth ages 10-25 via Google Hangouts. Counseling operates on a sliding scale payment system (and will accommodate youth with little to no income). To learn more about counseling through Outlet, send an email to Jeraca Marsh at jeraca@acs-teens.org. They are accepting new clients! The Outlet program is also hosting online peer groups for LGBTQ+ youth ages 10-25 via Discord. Learn more about the groups and how to join at https://www.acs-teens.org/what-we-do/outlet/.

 

The VHC Downtown Gender Health Center (GHC) is also continuing to provide mental/emotional health care over the phone. If you are already a patient at GHC, your primary care team can make a referral for you. If you are not a patient at GHC, your primary care provider can fax a referral to 408-977-8716.

 

Bill Wilson Center Connections continues to provide mental health services, including intakes, referrals, and sessions through telecare, as well as housing referrals and linkage to other community organizations.

 

The LGBTQ Youth Space offers free and confidential counseling services for youth and young adults between the ages of 13-25 insured through Santa Clara County based Medi-Cal or who are uninsured. Referrals to local LGBTQ friendly providers are available for youth and young adults who are not eligible for counseling services. Find more information and the request for referral or counseling services form here.

 

Websites like Gaylesta and Psychology Today have provider indexes with filters/tags that help you find LGBTQ allied mental healthcare providers. Please note that many service providers are conducting sessions over the phone or via secure video conferencing. Your insurance company may also be able to help you find a provider.​

I am experiencing domestic/intimate partner/family violence during the shelter-in-place order. Where can I seek help?
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You may leave your residence or travel away from a home where you are experiencing domestic violence during the shelter-in-place order. If you have family, friends, or a support system that you can reach out to, you are allowed to leave or travel to escape domestic violence. If you are looking for a domestic violence shelter, please visit the Office of Gender-Based Violence Prevention’s resource list for survivors during the COVID-19 crisis (click here for downloadable flyer).

  • SafeChatSV -  Local domestic violence agencies have partnered to provide online chat services to survivors of gender-based violence in Santa Clara County.

  • Community Solutions - 24-hour Crisis Line 1-877-END-SADV (1-877-363-7328) is a South County-focused crisis line for domestic violence/intimate partner violence , sexual assault, and human trafficking.

  • Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence - 408-279-2962 crisis line available 24/7 for victims of domestic violence, in addition to emergency shelter, housing solutions, and supportive services.

  • YWCA Silicon Valley - 1-800-572-2782 24/7 crisis line available. Click here to see other programs and services responding to COVID-19.

  • AACI Asian Women’s Home - 408-975-2739 free and confidential hotline available 24/7. Asian Women’s Home is the anti-domestic violence and human trafficking program of Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI). Call to inquire about services or to seek help.

  • Maitri - 1-888-862-4874 Maitri is a free, confidential, nonprofit organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area that primarily helps families and individuals from South Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives) facing domestic violence, emotional abuse, cultural alienation, or family conflict. Their live helpline is currently open from Mon to Fri (9 am to 3 pm) with voicemails checked outside of those hours. Click here for more information on their response to COVID-19. 

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline - 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) Highly trained expert advocates are available 24/7 to talk confidentially with anyone in the United States who is experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship. They will connect clients to local resources. Also offers live chat and text services (text LOVEIS to 22522). Visit their Staying Safe During COVID-19 page.

  • COVID-19 Resources for DV Survivors and Service Providers - Credible and accurate information related to health and relief for survivors from national experts at Futures Without Violence.​

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I’m an LGBTQ senior who is feeling even more isolated than usual. What resources can help me?
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A local community based organization, Avenidas, is offering an LGBTQ social isolation virtual support group every Monday at 10am to provide solidarity in these times. Avenidas is also able to deliver groceries to LGBTQ seniors in the northern region of Santa Clara County who are unable to get groceries. Those interested in getting groceries delivered can contact Thomas Kingery via email at tkingery@avenidas.org or call (650) 289-5400. Please also explore their Avenidas Without Walls page for remote resources specifically for seniors during the shelter-in-place order. If you are a Senior struggling to find meals during this time, please see information about the Senior Nutrition Program


The Health Trust’s Meals on Wheels program is providing home-delivered meals to elderly and disabled adults in Santa Clara County who are homebound or having difficulty getting their own meals. To apply, you, a family member, or a professional caregiver can call the Meals on Wheels office at 408-961-9870 or toll-free at 1-800-505-3367.


For a national list of information, please visit the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging for relevant resources, services, and online care during this time. You will find resources and services such as the 24/7 SAGE National LGBT Elder Hotline (877-360-5428) and the Eldercare Locator which helps to connect older adults to crucial local services. SAGEConnect is a national program that matches LGBTQ elders with volunteer community members and allies in the midst of the national pandemic through one-to-one contact, helping combat feelings of loneliness and disconnection, and ensuring that elders are linked to resources if they are in need of help.
Is the Needle Exchange Program still operating normally?
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To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Needle Exchange Services are limited until further notice. Needle Exchange Services are available Tuesdays from 5:00pm-7:00pm in the Crane Center Parking lot (976 Lenzen Ave., San Jose, CA 95126). Free safe injection kits are available in the Public Health Pharmacy (976 Lenzen Ave., San Jose, CA 95126) Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm. You can also purchase syringes at your local pharmacy. Please visit the Needle Exchange website for more information or call 408-792-5529 to speak with a Needle Exchange staff.​
I know a person that is struggling with their mental health but is unable to reach out through the usual channels. How do I help them?
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Please visit the Behavioral Health Services Department (BHSD) website for information about services as we are all experiencing more anxiety, grief, and isolation at this time.


Consider inviting them to attend a social or support group. Here are some that are available:

  • For Youth and Young Adults

    • The LGBTQ Youth Space hosts weekly groups (Transformers, Safe Space - South County, and Queer Hang Out) for young folks ages 13-25. See their calendar for more details, and contact Drop-in Center Coordinator, Stanley (sgaeta@fcservices.org), to request to join.

    • Gender Spectrum offers discussion groups for teens (13-19) and preteens (11-12). Click here for more info.

    • The Outlet program of Adolescent Counseling Services (ACS) is also hosting online peer support groups for LGBTQ+ youth ages 10-25 via Discord.

    • Bill Wilson Center Connections continues to operate its physical drop-in space and programming for young adults ages 18-25; all gender identities and sexual orientations are welcome. These are their current workshop and group meetings:

      • Art of Success (AOS) - discussions of educational and employment opportunities; Mondays and Tuesdays, 2:00pm-5:00pm

      • Let’s Talk About Sex (LTAS) - emphasizes sexual health and safe exploration; Wednesdays, 10:30am-11:30am

      • Street Smarts - discussions on STD prevention and street safety; Thursdays, 10:30am-11:30am

      • Queer Process Group - Fridays, 10:00am-11:00am

  • For Parents, Caregivers, and Adult Family Members

    • TransFamilies of Silicon Valley hosts  an active online support group and monthly peer-led support meetings via Zoom for parents/caregivers with transgender and gender-creative teens and young adults up and down the San Francisco Peninsula and throughout the South Bay.

    • Gender Spectrum offers a national parents support group, and topic-based discussion groups for grandparents and adult members of Asian-Pacific Islander communities who are raising gender expansive children and teens. They also offer a dads group, y un grupo de padres en Español. Click here for more info on all groups.

  • For LGBTQ+ Adults

  • For LGBTQ+ Seniors

    • Avenidas

      • LGBTQ+ Social Isolation Group - meets every Monday morning from 10-11am via the Zoom platform. Those interested in participating should email Thomas Kingery at tkingery@avenidas.org to request an invitation; please put “support group” in the subject line.

    • SAGE Advocacy and Services for LGBT Seniors

      • National LGBT Elder Hotline - call toll free, 877-360-LGBT (5428); available 24/7 in English and Spanish, with translation in 180 languages.

    • Institute on Aging

      • The Friendship Line, 24-Hour Warmline/Hotline

        • Institute on Aging’s 24-hour toll-free Friendship Line is the only accredited crisis line in the country for people aged 60 years and older, and adults living with disabilities. 1-800-971-0016. 

      • Free Call-Out Program for Santa Clara County

        • ​Provides outbound phone calls to anyone in Santa Clara County who is 60 years and older, or any adult with a disability or mental health condition. Clients can receive up to seven 10-minute phone calls a week, depending on the client’s needs. Call IOA Connect at 415-750-4111 or 650-424-1411 to get started.


If you feel that you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal ideation or might be contemplating suicide, please visit the BHSD’s suicide prevention page, or call 1-855-278-4204. 


The Trevor Project offers phone, text, and web-based chat support and crisis intervention specifically for LGBTQ+ youth and young adults. Call 1-866-488-7386, text START to 678678, or click here for web-based chat. ​
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3. LGBTQ Youth + Homelessness
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I’m an LGBTQ young person that is sheltering-in-place with people who do not respect or support my sexual orientation and/or gender identity. What can I do?
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Bill Wilson Center Connections continues to operate its physical drop-in space and programming for Young Adults ages 18-25; all gender identities and sexual orientations are welcome. If you need an affirming space, you can visit them at 691 S. 2nd St., San Jose, CA 95112; Monday-Friday 9:00am-3:00pm and Saturday 9:00am-1:00pm.


Visit PFLAG’s website for individual and family related LGBTQ support and a list of available groups now operating through teleconference with the San Jose/Peninsula chapter. 


If you feel that you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal ideation or might be contemplating suicide, please visit the Trevor Project (available 24/7) to chat, call 1-866-488-7386, or text START to 678678.


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I’m a young person struggling to hold my GSA meetings virtually. Where can I find support?
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The GSA Network has launched Virtual GSAs In Action, a digital space where they will feature opportunities to participate in virtual youth leadership events, online group conversation, and training in digital organizing and engagement. Contact GSA Network for further resources and support.

GLSEN has developed a “Hosting A Virtual Event” tipsheet with recommendations on hosting virtual GSA meetings and online events. Contact GLSEN for further resources and support. ​
I am currently contemplating coming out to my family/caretakers during shelter-in-place. What should I know?
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We absolutely understand the desire to come out, especially if you are currently in an unaffirming environment. Please refer to the Public Health Department’s Novel Coronavirus webpage regarding all current recommendations regarding COVID-19 and the shelter-in-place orders. With this information in mind, please consider the possibility of waiting unless you have somewhere else to go. Your health and safety come first. Be advised that shelters and other service organizations may be at capacity and/or operating on much smaller scales. Please be sure you have a safety plan in place just in case. Consider visiting National Runaway Safeline for more resources or for the option of speaking to someone if you would like. ​

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I currently have nowhere to shelter-in-place. Where can I find LGBTQ friendly housing?
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Please read this address from Santa Clara County regarding expanded and increased homeless care during COVID-19. The County is working hard to provide immediate housing options to protect vulnerable residents by safely moving them into shelter, inns, motels, and hotels. If you or someone you know is currently homeless, living in a vehicle, or any other place not meant for habitation, please call the Joint Operations Center at 408-278-6420 between 9:00am-6:00pm, seven days a week. Additionally, visit theCity of San Jose’s COVID-19 Assistance for Homeless Community webpage for further resources. 


​The Bill Wilson Drop-in Center in downtown San Jose offers emergency, temporary respite space as well as laundry, showers, and case management for homeless youth ages 13-25. They also still serve three meals daily: breakfast at 9:00am, lunch at 12:00pm, and dinner at 7:00pm.


New Haven Inn is operating at a restricted capacity but is accepting referrals.


Please also visit the True Colors United page for COVID-19 resources which lists a variety of national resources for LGBTQ youth who are currently homeless. ​
I have the capacity to host a homeless LGBTQ+ young person in my home. How can I get started?
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The Bill Wilson Center’s LGBTQ Host Homes Program is currently seeking families, couples, or singles who identify as LGBTQ or are allies to the community. Please see their website for more information and thank you for your willingness to support homeless youth during this difficult time.

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4. Employment + Businesses
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I am part of an LGBTQ business that has lost a majority of its revenue due to COVID-19. What can I do?
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Please see Santa Clara County’s list of resources and information to support businesses affected by COVID-19.  


Silicon Valley Community Foundation has created a Small Business Relief Fund (in addition a Regional Response Fund for individuals and families, and a Regional Nonprofit Emergency Fund).


Additionally, visit the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development page for COVID-19 assistance for small businesses for more information. The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce is providing guidance on how LGBTQ businesses and employees can plan for and respond to COVID-19.​
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, I am no longer able to pay rent. Do I have to worry about being evicted?
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On March 24, 2020, the County Board of Supervisors enacted a moratorium ​on “no-fault” evictions and evictions for non-payment of rent for tenants who have incurred substantial income loss and/or substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This moratorium applies throughout Santa Clara County, including Cities, and protects both residential as well as small business tenants. For more information, visit the FAQs around the eviction moratorium. Santa Clara County also launched an initiative to provide residents with assistance during this crisis. Please visit the County’s COVID-19 Assistance Navigation (CAN) website or call the hotline at 408-809-2124 for information surrounding unemployment, resources, and safety net programs.​
I am in an industry that has been significantly reduced due to COVID-19. Where can I seek help?
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Santa Clara County launched an initiative to provide residents with assistance during this crisis. Please visit the County’s COVID-19 Assistance Navigation (CAN) website or call the hotline at 408-809-2124 for information surrounding unemployment, resources, and safety net programs.


You can also visit the following local organizations who are offering further assistance to residents at this time: 


California’s Employment Development Department page for COVID-19 has information about what you can do if you are unemployed or have had your hours/benefits reduced due to this crisis. 


There are many organizations that are providing financial assistan​ce and vital services at this time; please continue to monitor Santa Clara County’s websites for more information in the coming weeks. 

faqGroupLookupString: 5. The Office of LGBTQ Affairs during COVID-19
5. The Office of LGBTQ Affairs during COVID-19
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What programs and services has the Office of LGBTQ Affairs (OLGBTQ) stopped or changed in response to COVID-19?
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Under the guidance of the Public Health Department, our physical office is closed and our entire team is working remotely. You can continue to reach us at 408-678-2900, lgbtq@ceo.sccgov.org, on social media @lgbtqsccgov, and sign-up for our monthly newsletter.


All our events have been postponed or cancelled and we are complying with all Public Health guidelines. While we are all unable to connect in-person with the community right now, we are doing everything we can to find alternatives and substitutes for the work we normally carry on in the county. 

What shifts are your Office making in light of COVID-19?
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The OLGBTQ team is here for you during this time. We understand that our county and the world at large are going through significant changes. Our office is ramping up its social media presence, coordinating the sharing of online resources, and working hard to build community for all, especially the LGBTQ+ folks in our county. The LGBTQ+ population is at higher risk for negative health outcomes, and even more so during this pandemic. Please follow us @lgbtqsccgov and tag us in your posts. 


We would love to hear from you about what our office can do to improve our outreach and work at this time. Please reach out to our Community Outreach Specialist, Kilani Louis (kilani.louis@ceo.sccgov.org, 408-309-5432), or our Community Engagement Coordinator, Ala Jalli (ala.jalli@ceo.sccgov.org), if you have thoughts to share or specific asks during this time.​
Where can I keep in touch with your office on social media?
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Our office is ramping up our  social media presence during shelter-in-place. We want to share valuable information and help folks build community in the face of isolation. Find us (@lgbtqsccgov) on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!​
faqGroupLookupString: 6. How you can help!
6. How you can help!
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I have the capacity to host a homeless LGBTQ+ young person in my home. How can I get started?
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The Bill Wilson Center’s LGBTQ Host Homes Program is currently seeking families, couples, or singles who identify as LGBTQ or are allies to the community. Please see their website for more information and thank you for your willingness to support homeless youth during this difficult time.
I’m a healthcare professional (that was out of work, retired, or wants to volunteer). Where can I sign up to help?
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The County of Santa Clara and the State of California have set up initiatives to recruit healthcare workers to help with the COVID-19 crisis. To help with the COVID-19 crisis simply join The County of Santa Clara Volunteer Program and for the State program click here to sign up. Thank you for your service​!
I have other questions not addressed on this list of FAQs, and/or a resource that is currently not included. Where can I submit my questions or resources?
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Please feel free to email us at lgbtq@ceo.sccgov.org, call us at 408-678-2900, or message us on any of our social media at @lgbtqsccgov. We are eager to hear from you!​

​​If you have a question or concern not addressed by this list, please submit it here. You can also find additional general local information about COVID-19 in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Tagalog at https://www.sccgov.org/coronavirus

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