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Community Services - PSA

Restoring hope during a Pandemic

CalHOPE is made up of many teams of Peer Crisis Counselors located in many areas throughout the Golden State

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By Paulina Angel | When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, no one had any idea how severe it was going to be, and more importantly, how long it would last. As case numbers increased to the thousands, we found ourselves entering a new but temporary norm where community events, concerts, movie theatres and basically anything that has to do with gatherings being put on hold.

The most important and vulnerable aspect of the human species is community, and being deprived of social interaction can be damaging to a person’s mental health. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, & Queer Community was hit particularly hard.

As we’ve seen community events such as Prides around the world being canceled, to LGBTQ community centers closing their doors, and adding the political climate of GOP-led states passing Anti-LGBTQ laws, definitely put a strain on the community’s mental well-being. 

Now that we are entering a post-COVID world, even though cases are currently on the rise with the new Delta Variant, there is a new project that has been established to provide peer crisis support as part of recovery efforts for California, CalHOPE.

Funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and run by the California Department of Health Care Services, California Hope or CalHOPE, provides free outreach, crisis counseling and support services to Californians that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A couple of ways that we provide services to individuals are our CalHOPE Connect online chat that can be accessed via a computer, smartphone or tablet. The other option is our Warm Line, which individuals can call and speak with one of our counselors.  

CalHOPE is made up of many teams of Peer Crisis Counselors located in many areas throughout the Golden State such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. We have counselors that specialize in many communities such as Veterans, African-Americans, Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders, Parents & Caregivers, Latinx, Youth & Young Adults, and lastly the LGBTQ community.

CalHOPE also provides support groups and workshops, created personally by our many counselors accessible via Zoom or Google Meet. These workshops include topics such as coping with loss, which can range from losing your job to losing a loved one, dealing with anxiety, stress reduction, and more.

Currently, as social distancing restrictions are being lifted, CalHOPE counselors are getting ready to start going out into the community and talk to folks at local community gatherings. A lot of our counselors have so far spoken to folks at vaccination sites and city council meetings, as well as some of the Mini-Pride events that have occurred towards the end of June. 

Since the establishment of CalHOPE, we have seen support from organizations that are focused on medical and mental health, local city councils, elected officials, and several universities in California, as well as the Los Angeles Kings, San Francisco 49ers, and performers such as Sofia Carson, Los Lobos, Laura Marano, Krewella, and Grace Potter.

CalHOPE and its many groups throughout California are happy and honored to do this work and to ensure many Californians that they are not alone, there is someone here that is ready to help you or lend an ear. 

For more information on how you can utilize our services, visit us at www.CalHOPE.org

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Community Services - PSA

Indoor large events required to verify vax or negative test for entry

COVID-19 test must be within 72 hours prior to event. Results can be printed, on a phone- with email/text msg results from test provider/lab

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Photo Credit: City of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – As of September 20, the State requires that all attendees at indoor mega events show proof of full vaccination or a negative test result prior to entry. Self-attestation can no longer be used to verify an attendee’s status as fully vaccinated or as proof of a negative COVID-19 test result.  

Indoor mega events are events with 1,000 or more attendees indoors and include, conventions, conferences, expos, concerts, shows, nightclubs, sporting events, live entertainment, and festivals.

Acceptable proof of vaccination status includes a photo identification with any one of the following:

  • CDC COVID-19 vaccination record card (white card)
  • World Health Organization (WHO) vaccine record card (yellow card)
  • California Department of Public Health (CDPH) COVID-19 digital vaccination record
  • Other COVID-19 digital vaccination record issued by an approved company
  • Documentation of vaccination from the healthcare provider or entity that provided the COVID-19 vaccines
  • California Immunization Registry (CAIR2) vaccination record

The vaccination proof should include the person’s name, type of COVID-19 vaccine, and the date of the doses administered. The person can show the vaccination card, a photo of the card as a separate document, or a photo of the card stored on a phone or electronic device.

Acceptable proof of a negative test includes a photo identification with testing results that must include the person’s name, type of COVID-19 viral test performed, and negative test result.  The date when the COVID-19 test was taken must be within the 72 hours prior to the event. The test results can be a printed copy or on a phone, including an email or text message results from the test provider or laboratory.

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Community Services - PSA

“Empower Los Angeles,” Trans job fair Wednesday, September 22

“Empower LA!” is the first in a series of career fairs to empower Trans & non-binary people recruitment efforts by participating companies

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation and TransCanWork, an organization committed to advancing transgender, gender diverse & intersex workplace inclusion, announced the launch of “Empower Los Angeles!” a virtual career fair for transgender and non-binary job seekers on Wednesday, September 22 from 11am to 3pm PST.

“It is already widely known that the transgender and non-binary communities face heightened levels of discrimination across all facets of society—while national unemployment rates have skyrocketed over the past 18 months, these folks now face compounded, threatening circumstances that contribute to further marginalization, economic oppression, and financial insecurity,” said RaShawn Hawkins, Human Rights Campaign Workplace Equality Deputy Director. “Creating safe spaces for transgender and non-binary job seekers is critical to ensuring that they may begin a career with affirming, inclusive employers.”

“Empower Los Angeles!” is the first in a series of career fairs that aim to economically empower the transgender and non-binary community through intentional recruitment efforts made by participating companies who are also working to support transgender and non-binary inclusive workforce development efforts. Each virtual event can host up to 60 employers, as well as 1,000 job seekers, per city via virtual exhibitor booths that are fully customizable and include various features such as video and chat functionality through the platform Brazen.

“I’ve heard and witnessed countless stories of friends and community members losing jobs, facing financial insecurity, and racking up debt just in order to survive, and that was long before the start of a pandemic,” said Lexi Adsit, TransCanWork Executive Director. “This virtual career fair is just one of many ways we are helping to create a true culture shift—TransCanWork isn’t just in the business of bringing together employers and potential employees, we’re in the business of culture change to ensure long-term success and stability for the transgender, gender diverse and intersex community and our corporate partners.”

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, HRC Foundation’s Workplace Equality Program and TransCanWork quickly pivoted programming by providing additional employment support through an educational web series, “Who’s Hiring?” that highlights LGBTQ+ affirming companies and open positions of employment. Now that the professional landscape has been permanently transformed, both organizations are dedicated to leveraging a strategic partnership to further impact employment mobility for transgender and non-binary people around the country. During the Los Angeles fair, Bank of America will be the Presenting Sponsor and Amgen will be the Platinum Sponsor. To register as a job seeker click here.

Data released by HRC and PSB Research outlines the economic impact of COVID-19 on the LGBTQ+ community, showing that the community is more likely to have faced financial and professional hardships.

  • 30% of LGBTQ+ respondents had their work hours reduced, compared to 22% of the general population
  • 27% of transgender or non-binary Americans who held or applied for a job reported being fired, denied a promotion or not hired for a job they applied for because they were trans or non-binary.
  • 16% of transgender or non-binary people said they lost a job because they were trans or non-binary.
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Community Services - PSA

Bisexual Awareness Week, also known as #BiWeek kicks off today

Throughout #BiWeek, allies and bi+ people learn about the history, culture, community, and current policy priorities of bi+ communities.

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Graphic courtesy of GLAAD

WEST HOLLYWOOD – The Bisexual Awareness Week, also known as #BiWeek, is an annual celebration week held in September, from September 16 through the 23rd. It is an extension of Celebrate Bisexuality Day, held annually on September 23.

Bisexual+ people have always been a driving force in the LGBTQ community and are leaders within local, regional, and national organizations and issue-based campaigns. Every day, bi+ people work side by side with the broader LGBTQ community to affect change, acceptance, and equality.

Some people who are attracted to people of any gender self-identify with words such as “bisexual,” “pansexual,” “polysexual,” “omnisexual,” “fluid,” “queer,” and more. 

Co-founded by GLAAD, Bisexual+ Awareness Week seeks to accelerate acceptance of the bi+ (bisexual, pansexual, fluid, no label, queer, etc.) community. #BiWeek draws attention to the experiences, while also celebrating the resiliency of, the bisexual+ community.

Throughout #BiWeek, allies and bi+ people learn about the history, culture, community, and current policy priorities of bi+ communities.

The City of West Hollywood will celebrate Bi Visibility Week (Bisexual Visibility Week), which commences on Thursday, September 16, 2021 and runs through Thursday, September 23, 2021. The City’s events and recognitions during this week are intended to raise the visibility and increase awareness of the Bisexual community. These include:

Panel Discussions: On Tuesday, September 21, 2021 at 7 p.m., the City and members of its Lesbian & Gay Advisory Board will host the first of two virtual Zoom panel discussions focused on the Bisexual community, Past, Present, and Future of the Bisexual Community. To register for the Zoom webinar, please visit: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_YuBIxVsgQyiQhw0uIgQCew

The second panel, A Community Discussion on Microaggressions Towards the Bi Community will take place virtually via the Zoom platform at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 22, 2021. To register for the Zoom webinar, please visit: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_zSYaODxJTeu7jBVOU1VPKA

Both sessions will be livestreamed on the City’s WeHoTV YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/wehotv. For additional details, please visit www.weho.org/lgbtq

Street Lanterns: On Thursday, September 16, 2021 the City’s lanterns over Santa Monica Boulevard between Hancock Avenue and N. Robertson Boulevard will be lit in pink, purple, and blue, which are the colors of the Bisexual Pride flag, in homage to the community. West Hollywood City Hall will also be lit with the same colors. 

Pride Flags: Bisexual Pride flags will be flown on the City’s medians where flags are currently displayed. Additionally, Bisexual Pride flags will be displayed on the rooftop of City Hall and at Plummer Park.

Since incorporation in 1984, the City of West Hollywood has become one of the most influential cities in the nation for its outspoken advocacy on LGBTQ issues. No other city of its size has had a greater impact on the national public policy discourse on fairness and inclusiveness for LGBTQ people. More than 40 percent of residents in West Hollywood identify as LGBTQ and three of the five members of the West Hollywood City Council are openly gay or lesbian. The City has advocated for more than three decades for measures to support LGBTQ individuals and has been in the vanguard on efforts to gain and protect equality for all people on a state, national, and international level.

For additional information about the Bi Visibility Week please contact Hernán Molina at (323) 848-6364 or at [email protected] or via www.weho.org/lgbtq. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

The City of West Hollywood remains in a declared local emergency in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. West Hollywood City Hall is open for in-person transactions by appointment; to make an appointment, visit www.weho.org/appointments. City Hall services remain accessible by phone at (323) 848-6400 and via the City’s website at www.weho.org. City of West Hollywood coronavirus information is available at www.weho.org/coronavirus.

For up-to-date news and events, follow the City of West Hollywood on social media @WeHoCity, sign up for news updates at www.weho.org/email, and visit the City’s calendar of meetings and events at www.weho.org/calendar.

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