In honor of Earth Day/Month and the green stripe in the LGBTQ Rainbow Pride Flag, we are launching a new feature on our blog: Links to (re)Use (and bonus points to you if you know that I am reusing that title!)
We’ll round-up the most popular tweets and FB shares over the past week.
Excellent news for our neighbors in Ohio
Court orders Ohio to recognize married same-sex couples http://buff.ly/Q6VXkZ This applies to couples who wed out of state.
And an update on the FIVE pending marriage equality cases in Pennsylvania
Our friends at ReelQ shared this tweet and it seemed to be very popular. You should follow them for updates on LGBTQ films.
The “Oh Joy Sex Toy” comic from Bitch Media is always a popular share. We love #sexpositive content, but this is definitely not safe to open at work.
This bit of censorship caught our attention. (h/t @LGBTQNation)
Parent wants book about ‘Two Boys Kissing’ removed from school library http://bit.ly/OuhylY
Important information on suicide prevention (very glad to see this shared multiple times)
LGBT SUICIDE PREVENTION (PART 1 of 2) | The Network for LGBT Health Equityhttp://bit.ly/1lM69wA
This image was popular on both Facebook and Twitter.
This is an occasional series profiling the volunteers and supporters who give back to our community center. They do everything from answer the phone to staff tables at outreach events to help with fundraising. These are their stories about their corner of the GLCC.
Your Name: Robert W. A.K.A Robbie
Tell Us A Little About Yourself: I have been involved with the GLCC for 10 years. Be it youth night or volunteer. I studied American Sign Language for 3 years. I do not have a degree in it due to circumstances. I would like to get back into college for either Massage or Personal Trainer.
What Is Your First Memory of the GLCC? I was 17 when a friend from high school brought me and another friend to the center when it was still located in Squirrel Hill.
How Are You Connected to the GLCC? I am a volunteer. Mostly with the Friday Night Youth night. You will also see me at Outrageous Bingo helping with the seating and running.
Something About The GLCC That People Should Know, but Probably Don’t: We have one of the largest selection of GLBTQIA books and media libraries in the country.
What Volunteers Opportunities Should People Know About? OUTrageous Bingo can use help with setup and breakdown.
What Sorts of Things Could People Donate to the GLCC? Snacks and Drinks for the youth to enjoy during Youth Drop-In (Pepsi, Coke, Lemonade,Etc)
What Pittsburgh celebrity or “personality” would you like to invite to the GLCC and why? I would like to invite the Bubba Show radio hosts. They are working on preventing bullying and I think that the youth as well as other young people would benefit from the program.
GLCC could ALSO stand for …. Great Lifelong Community Connections
How Are You Connected to the GLCC Via Social Media? Connected via Facebook.
Thank you, Robbie!
If you are interested in learning more about our Youth Programs or similar programming, please email email@example.com or call 412-422-0114.
If you’d like to get more involved with the GLCC, our next Volunteer Orientation is Saturday May 10 from 1-4 PM. Register by phone 412-422-0114 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every Tuesday, the Allegheny County Department of Human Services LGBTQ Liaison is at the GLCC to meet with the community in a safe, familiar environment. More information can be found on their website.
The DHS LGBTQ Community of Practice is the new structure of the original DHS LGBTQ Advisory Council, which was established to advise the Director and Senior Staff of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services on issues related to the human service needs of LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning) residents.
Representing diverse subpopulations among service providers and the LGBTQ community, similar to the original design of the advisory council, DHS LGBTQ Community of Practice participants will continue to identify evolving needs of the community and advise the Department regarding culturally sophisticated, inclusive, and responsive practices that meet these needs, as well as providing all interested parties an opportunity to share information and resources across a wide range of topic areas.
1. What is your name(s) and your role with the Department of Human Services?
My name is Anna Klahr and I am the DHS LGBTQ Affairs Intern. I am a graduate student at the School of Social Work at Pitt and will be graduating with my MSW in April. There will be a new Liaison that will replace me when I leave DHS. (NOTE: Anna was our first liaison and we wish her much success in career.)
My name is Shauna Lucadamo and I am the DHS LGBTQ Affairs Project Manager.
2. DHS can sometimes be stigmatized as “child welfare” or some other punitive program. Help us lift that stigma by telling us what DHS actually does?
DHS provides publicly-funded human services to Allegheny County residents. We are dedicated to meeting the needs of members of the community, particularly for the county’s most vulnerable populations. DHS and our contracted agencies provide a wide range of services, including services for older adults; mental health and drug and alcohol services (including 24-hour crisis counseling); child protective services; at-risk child development and education; hunger services; emergency shelters and housing for the homeless; non-emergency medical transportation; job training and placement for public assistance recipients and older adults; and services for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.
3. Why did the County assign a liaison to the LGBTQ community?
We felt that there was an opportunity to connect with individuals in the community and assist them in answering questions about what DHS does, connect them with available resources, as well as help them navigate the system if needed.
4. Can you give me some examples of why someone might come to see you at the GLCC?
There could be a wide variety of reasons, but for example, we might meet with a community member who was interested in accessing mental health services, was at risk of becoming homeless, needed support finding help for a drug or alcohol addiction, or was looking for food assistance.
5. As a social worker, I often get calls from people in the community looking for resources. Are these the types of inquiries you could answer?
- Food Stamps/Hunger Resources – YES
- Shelters/Affordable Housing – YES
- Mental Health Services (especially finding housing or case management) – YES
- Aging Services (often for parents and other relatives) – YES
6. A friend is interested in becoming a foster parent and wants to work with an agency that places LGBTQ adolescents. Can you help her?
There are many foster care agencies that a family can work with to become a licensed resource family for a child. No agency exclusively serves LGBTQ youth. Rather, all out of home placements are made by the Allegheny County Office of Children, Youth and Families (CYF), and families from a variety of agencies offer welcoming homes to LGBTQ youth. If someone is interested in being a resource family for an LGBTQ youth, they should find a foster care agency that they find to be welcoming and supportive, and make sure the agency knows that they would welcome LGBTQ youth. CYF collects information from each provider about which of their families are willing to consider serving 1) a lesbian, gay or bisexual youth and 2) transgender or gender nonconforming youth.
7. Are parenting classes just for people who are sentenced there by court for being involved with CYF? Are there any for someone who just wants to learn some new techniques or find support?
We have a number of resources for parenting support that we could connect someone with, depending on their individual situation and specific needs, which we would determine when we met with them.
8. If someone comes in to meet with you, do they have to give you their name and contact info? Can they ask questions without doing that or just use their first name?
We will only ask people to give as much information as they are comfortable giving, however if they are in the system already we might need more details to be able to better serve them and answer their questions, and if they are under 18 and we learn or suspect that they are in an unsafe situation or suspect elder abuse, we are mandated reporters (as is the staff of the GLCC) and we will be required to contact CYF or other DHS offices for assistance.
9. Someone does want to talk with you, but works during your GLCC hours. How can they get in touch with you?
They can contact us via email at DHS-LGBTQ@alleghenycounty.net, or they can contact Shauna Lucadamo at 412-350-2436
10. Someone lives in Butler County, but isn’t sure that their DHS is LGBTQ friendly. Can they call you with basic questions or for a referral?
We can provide individuals with a list of questions to ask that may help them determine whether an organization is LGBTQ friendly or not. Some programs require referrals to come through specific sources. Where that is not the case, we can support the individual in getting connected.
You can sign up for the DHS-LGBTQ Community eNewsletter (and submit information as well.)
When the new interns are assigned to our site, we will be sure to update you. If you have questions or want to talk with the Liaison staff, you can call the CRIS desk phone line on Tuesdays between 1-3 at 412-422-0114. You can also submit questions via email to email@example.com (general questions only, no personal details please.)