Creating Vibrant Community
    by helping LGBTQ people along their way

    March is Women's History Month





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    760.416.7790 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Hey there,
Do things feel like they’re moving quickly, or is that just us? We’re not talking about the speedy gusts of winds we’ve had in the desert the past few days… we’re talking about the rate at which folks are getting vaccinated and businesses are opening up. At the time of writing this, we got word that Riverside County would be in the Orange Tier today, which opens up possibilities for gatherings, events, and more.
Here @ The Center we still don’t have a timeline yet for our re-opening, since our building has been under construction for the past year! So while the rest of the world seems to be moving fast, things here definitely feel a bit slower in some regards. 
With all that said, we’re checking in with your mood about all this news. And in honor of our meme/emoji Fun Friday last week @ The Center, let us know which of these emojis you’re feeling the most like right now.
Turn on images to see these emojis
Which of these emojis is your mood most like right now?
Last week you told us how you're going to deal with the summer heat, and more than half of you plan to stay put and tough it out! Be sure to stay tuned to this newsletter for programs, events, and more in the next few months, as well as our timeline on reopening.
Director's Letter
I’m enjoying the longer days of Spring filled with the sounds of song birds. During the past year we started putting out food for the birds – it took them a while to catch on - now, word is out and the back yard buffet is in full swing. It’s so much fun to watch and listen to them, our cats are endlessly entertained and taunted as well. I’m feeling more hopeful than I was a year ago when we were dreaming of the possibility of a vaccine – and now it’s available.
Just like the birds – it took us awhile to figure out where to get our sustenance during this crazy time. We’ve adjusted to a virtual world for the most part – some people are thriving and some of us need more support. Where ever you are in your journey, please know we are here for you!
Debra Pollock
Director of Development
Upcoming @ The Center
Eisenhower Health @ Home series
Why Sleep is
so Important
Did you know that getting enough sleep is essential for maintaining optimal health and well-being? In fact, it’s just as vital as getting regular exercise and eating a balanced diet. But what happens to our bodies when we have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep?
Join Marcel Fraix, DO Via ZOOM to learn more about the effects of poor sleep and how you can get the zzzzz’s you need for a healthy mind and body.
Register here.
Wednesday, April 14th
4pm to 5pm
Meeting ID: 975 8966 497
Later this month!
Wednesday, April 28th
4pm to 5pm
Meeting ID: 975 8966 497
Movement vs Exercise
what's the difference?
Lovers of vigorous exercise aren’t the only ones who get health benefits from physical activity. Studies show that low impact workouts and even activities you’d never think of as exercise can also improve your well-being.
Join Olivia Ellis, Cardiac Rehab Specialist Via ZOOM to learn more.
Register here.
Spaces available Sign Up NOW!
Starts THIS Saturday!
Our popular ASL program returns under the great leadership of Itai Cardona.
This 8-week course is for those who want to learn another language and communicate with members of the Deaf Community. During the classes, beginner students will actively engage in exciting activities so that learning another language becomes fun again. No experience is necessary! 
Cost is $80.00
To sign up register here.
Ongoing Programs
This program has been carefully crafted by facilitator Lynn Simonson to help participants improve their overall health, and specially benefiting those with mobility issues, via ZOOM!
Engage in gentle seated stretches, grounding breath techniques and calming guided meditations.
$30 per month
10AM - 11AM
Un grupo de apoyo para personas que tiene familiares LGBTQ+.
Primer Viernes de cada mes
de 6PM - 7PM
Grupo virtual en Zoom
Por favor registrese
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Are you an Adult Adoptee?
Connect with other adult adoptees next Monday, March 8th.
Email facilitator
Soterios Rouman
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
for the meeting password.
Meeting ID: 249130043
Monday 3PM
APRIL registration
closes 4/8
Lynn Simonson is back with her popular "50+ FIT" training
program via ZOOM!
This low-impact class is designed to Increase strength, flexibility and balance for everyone.
$20 per month
11AM - Noon
Next Tuesday!
This group is intended for all men from the recently diagnosed to the long-term survivor and is facilitated by a gay man who is also a Prostate Cancer Survivor.
2nd and 4th Tuesdays
Next group:
Tuesday, February 23
4PM - 5PM
In need of more connection? Join us Monday through Friday online in our Zoom Meetings, like Knit Together, Women's Chat, Men's Chat, and much, much more.
When people die by suicide, we grieve, we wonder, we speculate. We can feel shock and sadness and ask ourselves a million questions. As we reflect on this extremely tough year, we acknowledge that our people are still struggling. For some of us, the struggle existed long before the pandemic and physical distancing; for others, we may have had more space and time to feel our feelings deeply.
We want our community - YOU - to know that wherever you might be at, you're not alone, no matter how much it might feel like you are. And we acknowledge that it can be incredibly hard to reach out when you're in that space of being extremely depressed or thinking about suicide. It can be embarrassing and you might not want to admit it or reach out for help, because you don't want to be judged. Or perhaps you've been burned in the past.
Vulnerability is hard. And it is through vulnerability that we can find healing, help, and support. If you've been struggling, or if taking care of your mental health feels overwhelming, we are here for you.
Though the Scott Hines Behavioral Health Clinic @ The Center is not a crisis center, we can step in before things get urgent. And if you are in a place of crisis, there are resources for you, that you can access right now.
Riverside Mental Health Crisis Contacts
Recovery Innovations Mental Health Urgent Care (Palm Springs):
                Times: Open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day 
                Address: 2500 N. Palm Canyon Drive Suite A4, Palm Springs, CA 92262
                Phone: 442-268-7000 - No need to call or schedule an appointment
Riverside County HELPLine 24 Hour Crisis/Suicide Line: 951-686-4357 (951-686-HELP)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860
The Trevor Project Lifeline (LGBTQ Youth): 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386)
What’s up Safehouse - 24/7, free, anonymous mental health crisis texting line: Text SHHELP to 844.204.0880 24/7 for immediate support and resources.
Adult Protective Services: 1-800-491-7123 (or 911 if an emergency)
Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-442-4918 (or 911 if an emergency)
Riverside County Mental Health Outpatient and Crisis Clinic (Indio):
                Times: Monday- Thursday, 8:00AM-5:00PM
                Phone: 760-863-8455 - Address: 47825 Oasis Street, Indio, CA  
                Open 24/7: Telecare Riverside County Psychiatric Health Facility
47-915 Oasis Street Indio, CA
(760) 863-8650 – Walk-ins available
Contact our Scott Hines Behavioral Health Clinic @ The Center: 760-416-7899
Whether you're a survivor or you're struggling right now, you have a support system with your friends @ The Center.
Get Resources
The Community Food Bank @ The Center
Located at 610 S Belardo Rd, Palm Springs, The Community Food Bank @ The Center is open for distribution every Thursday from 5PM - 7PM.
We are currently in need of the following items:
  • Cereal
  • Oatmeal
  • Eggs
  • Rice, 1 Pound Package
  • Dry Beans, 1 Pound Package
  • Jars of pasta sauce
  • Peanut Butter
Drop-offs welcome on Tuesdays and Thursdays: 10:00 am to Noon and NEW Curbside drop off hours: Thursdays from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. Collecting barrels will be available in front of our food bank facility for easy, safe, self-service drive by - drop and go!
Also please consider purchasing online at websites like AmazonSmile® or from other online food suppliers of your preference, and deliver direct to The Center @ 1301 N Palm Canyon Dr, 3rd Floor. Palm Springs, CA 92262.
Help is here for paying your rent!
Lift to Rise is once again able to help local residents whose ability to pay rent may be impacted by COVID-19. Learn more about the fund, your eligibility, and how to apply here.
Take Action
Share your COVID-19 Pandemic experiences
HARP-PS is conducting a COVID/HIV resiliency survey for people in the Coachella Valley. Please feel free to share with colleagues and clients for their engagement:
Resiliency Survey:
In response to the COVID pandemic, HARP-PS is collaborating with researchers at UCLA & USC to measure resilience in older adults during the past year of the pandemic. We are looking for people who can answer questions about resiliency, and how they’ve been coping during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
You may be eligible for this study if you are:
  • Over 50 years old
  • Either HIV- or HIV+
  • Live in the Coachella Valley
  • Comfortable taking the survey in English
You will receive a $20 eGift Card for participating
Participation in this survey is voluntary and should take about 30 minutes
Please click on this link to take a survey here.
COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Changes!
Riverside County health officials announce vaccine eligibility for those ages 16 and older.
The change opens vaccine eligibility to hundreds of thousands of Riverside County residents. “More vaccine is available now, and opening eligibility will move us even further towards our goal of vaccinating the majority of our residents,” said Board Chair Karen Spiegel, Second District Supervisor for Riverside County. “Vaccine works best when the majority of the population takes it.”
Those who are 16 and 17 – who are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine – will need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to get vaccinated. Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are available to those who are 18 years and older.
To make an appointment, click HERENote that not all locations are accepting 16 and older, so please verify before you schedule.
If you need other help with getting appointments for vaccines, check out Vaccine Buddy information below.
Vaccines available at Eisenhower Health
Speaking of COVID-19 vaccines, our Health & Wellness partner Eisenhower Health are also a great resource to schedule your vaccine appointment! To schedule an appointment at the main Eisenhower Health campus in Rancho Mirage, visit
The Eisenhower Health Covid-19 Vaccine Clinic Location is located at the Eisenhower Health Main Campus at the Annenberg Health Sciences Building, at 39000 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage
If you are experiencing difficulties in making an appointment, please respond to this email and we can connect you with someone that can assist.
Need help with vaccination?
This City led buddy program is for those eligible for the COVID vaccine
who might need help scheduling or attending appointments.
You can call any of the participating organizations listed above
including The Center - 760 416 7790
NEW Health guidelines for FULLY vaccinated people.
The CDC have released the first set of public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people. This guidance will be updated and expanded based on the level of community spread of SARS-CoV-2, the proportion of the population that is fully vaccinated, and the rapidly evolving science on COVID-19 vaccines.
For the purposes of this guidance, people are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 ≥2 weeks after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or ≥2 weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson). 
The following recommendations apply to non-healthcare settings.
Fully vaccinated people can:
  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic
For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:
  • Take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing
  • Wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
  • Wear masks, maintain physical distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households
  • Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Follow guidance issued by individual employers
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations
Click here to read the CDC's full recommendations.
Business Partners
Support those who give!
Please help support the businesses who support The Center, the work we do, and who give back so generously to our community. Click here for a list of Business Partners with The Center.
The Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert (PSLOD) is a pansexual organization of like-minded individuals pursuing an interest in the Leather/SM/Fetish lifestyle, with an interest in fundraising for the local community.
Learn more about our generous Emerald partner here.
Community Events
Sammy's Circle
Pet Bereavement Group -
Sammy's Circle
Twice Monthly Meetings
Saturday, April 17th 5PM- 6PM
Losing a pet, including a foster pet or a pet who has been cared for at the Shelter, can be devastating, resulting in overwhelming emotions, including grief, guilt, anger, stress and loneliness.
Palm Springs Animal Shelter Pet Bereavement Group - Sammy's Circle is a safe space for us to heal together. We encourage you to invite friends, loved ones, and others who you feel may benefit from these gatherings. Hosted by Paul Sellers, for questions contact Paul at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Zoom link here
Dial in for voice only: 669-990-9128
Meeting ID#: 3028924961
A taste of Hawaii
Sunday April 18th, 12PM - 6PM
ALOHANA @ The Palm Springs Cultural Center
(facemasks required)
NEW PLAY coming April 29th!
Brothers of the Desert Presents:
Speak My Words,
Tell My Truth
We’re looking forward to this very special event happening later this month from Brothers of the Desert, and a volunteer facilitator with The Center, Lorenzo Taylor. Lorenzo wrote this play about racism and homophobia through the eyes of Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Essex Hemphill, E. Lynn Harris, and Tarell Alvin McCraney. It combines some of their written words with commentaries on the racial climate in the gay community.
It will be presented online by Coachella Valley Rep on Thursday, April 29th. Folks can register at www.cvrep.org or here.
20th Annual Rainbow TWO DAY Golf Tournament
The 2021 Rainbow Challenge will be held Saturday & Sunday, May 1 & 2 at Indian Canyon South & North Courses with proceeds benefitting The Center. There will be practice rounds and a Nine hole event and pairings party at Desert Willow starting April 28. You do not have to compete to play. For more details and to register, click here.
Connect Virtually
PALS seniors and future seniors, Planning Ahead before a health issue requires connections. Come join the conversations.
PALS Café:
Every Wednesday, 4 PM – 5 PM
Wednesday, April 7th - Let's get personal: Are You a Listener or a Talker?
Join PALS for an informal discussion on various pertinent topics.
Zoom ID # 832 2405 1340, Passcode: 016864, Zoom Link here
Dial in: 699-900-9128
To find your nearest dial in # click here.
For more dates, sign up for email notifications at their website: palsinthedesert.com
Saturday, April 17th, 10 AM - 11 AM
All About Hospice Service and Death Doula Too.
Feel Good Story
Commitment pays off!
Marco Carocari, who along with husband Mark Gutkowski are proud supporters of The Center and Ocotillo Club members, has just had his first novel published and we couldn't be prouder of him.
Leaving behind his career and his native Switzerland when he moved to the USA to be with Mark, Marco pursued his dream of becoming a novelist. Attending writer's courses, Marco finished his novel "Blackout," found a publisher, and finally, after all that hard work he's in print. A testimony to commitment, belief in oneself, and never giving up on your dream. Husband Mark contributed the book's jacket design, making this a real family effort.
To celebrate his first novel's publication Marco donated a portion of the initial sales to Lambda Literary to help other LGBTQ writers.
So congrats to Marco on delivering a gripping, densely plotted, noirish, gay thriller with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end.
If you're interested in Marco's book click here. If you use Amazon Smile a portion of the sale will be donated so you not only get to support a local writer but a charity of your choice.
They were here, and they were ours
In this space we honor the memory of folks in our community who have passed.
Maria Benita Rivera (1969 - 2021)
My best friend’s mom lost her battle to cancer. She was the most amazing human being & such a beautiful soul. I ask for a minute of silence to honor those who we’ve lost to cancer. RIP Maria Benita. - Ana Rodriguez Landeros
If you'd like to submit a name for inclusion here, please fill out this form.
Submissions received by 5PM Friday will be included in the next week's newsletter, for two consecutive weeks.
The LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert | 1301 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, CA 92262
1515 Sixth Street, Coachella, CA 92236
  • The LGBTQ Community Center of The Desert

    The McDonald/Wright Building

    1301 North Palm Canyon Dr, 3rd Floor
    Palm Springs, CA 92262

    760.416.7790 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Open Monday - Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm

    The Center is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) public charity
    EIN # 33-0937301

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