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2020 Closes – Here’s what we’ve done with your help.

Dear Friends and Family, 

 

Hudson Pride Center is a home and a voice to the diverse LGBTQ+ community of Hudson County. Our mission is to enhance the lives of LGBTQ+ people by creating a safe physical and virtual home, social services, and programs that meet the ongoing needs, and to build trust with each and every person that seeks our help. This year our job was more difficult than it ever has been but with your support we were able to be there for the community!

 

The public health crisis caused by coronavirus increased levels of uncertainty and anxiety as well as additional hardships and barriers for our community. But we stood fast, adapted, and were up for the challenge. Understanding the importance of connection and the negative effects of social isolation, our Center’s team created innovative ways to work remotely this past year so that our LGBTQ+ family felt supported and cared for. We virtually connected over 175 clients to health and supportive services, held over 200 virtual support groups with about 2,000 participants, and 40 events on zoom with over 500 participants. We expanded our social media connections and reached over 10,000 people a month and 120,000 this year with a clear message that we are here, you are not alone, and we are here to help! 

 

For many of our clients, our center is home and our services are lifesaving, and this year it was more urgent than ever to make sure they knew we are her for them. Take Gabriella, a Transgender identifying youth receiving mental health therapy sessions through our program prior to the start of the pandemic. She was uninsured and unable to afford therapy sessions on her own. During COVID-19, Hudson Pride Center was able to quickly provide Gabriella with a phone and cover all costs associated with her virtual mental health sessions. Gabriella shared that this virtual support service, along with our virtual youth support group, were a lifeline for her. At a time when racial injustice and violence against Trans communities co-exist with the impacts of COVID-19 on our LGBTQ+ youth. Gabriella continues to successfully attend her virtual therapy sessions which have been a sense of release, safety, support, and relief for her.

 

Hudson Pride is here for all. I think about one of our clients, James, an LGBTQ+ identifying young adult that experienced traumatic physical and emotional abuse at home after being outed and then forced to leave his house in the midst of the pandemic to seek safety. When James reached out to Hudson Pride, he shared his need for emergency housing and our staff worked tirelessly to secure him with an emergency housing slot and free COVID testing at a time where testing was limited and housing locations were being extremely precautious about the number of clients they could take due to safety regulations concerning COVID-19. Our team was able to provide James with consistent food & toiletry deliveries during a time where many sanitary & food/essential items were scarce and overpriced in stores. We continued to provide James with virtual emotional & mental support during this overwhelming transition and he shared being appreciative of the community support he was receiving, especially after losing the support of his loved ones. During this transition period, James was able to pursue his journey with healing and a new support system made possible by Hudson Pride.

 

As the pandemic continues and we face 2021 with hope and hesitation, it is more important than ever to ensure that Hudson Pride Center’s life-changing and saving services continue to be available to our community. We are Hudson County’s only community center that provides free health and social services for any LGBTQ+ person. And for the past 27 years, Hudson Pride Center has provided a lifeline to people in need, to help them not only to survive – but to thrive. Our center and team take pride in the work we do and the partnerships we have with local agencies and people like you to make sure that our fellow LGBTQ+ community members do not get left behind. Join us, by making a contribution before the end of 2020. As this year ends we can be proud of the work we have done, hopeful for the future and resolved to continue our work, but we need your support to do that. Join us.

 

Elizabeth Schedl

She/They

Executive Director of Hudson Pride Center