Cville Pride Introduces the COVID-19 LGBTQ+ Emergency Fund

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Organization commits $5,000 to gift small grants to LGBTQ+  individuals & families in need due to the coronavirus pandemic along with online resources

Charlottesville, VA – Monday, May 18, 2020 – Local nonprofit Charlottesville Pride Community Network (Cville Pride) announces the introduction of a fund to provide monetary support for members of the local LGBTQ+ community negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Individuals and families can apply for gift cards or checks in the amounts of $75 and $125, respectively. These one-time grants are intended for those who need help paying for groceries, medical bills, rent, or other expenses during this time of instability, massive unemployment, and quarantine.

“We’ve had to cancel our usual community events,” Amy-Sarah Marshall, president, says. “Unprom, the Dogwood Parade, monthly youth gatherings – all cancelled. So to meet our mission of supporting the community, we decided to redirect funds to people in need.”


Online Resources: Virtual Connections

Cville Pride has introduced virtual methods of connection to help support those struggling with social distancing during quarantine. 

“We know that, under normal circumstances, LGBTQ+ people face greater risks for depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and health issues,” says Marshall. “The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated these challenges, especially for our elders and youth.”

Marshall explains that older LGBTQ+ individuals face the same isolation and health fears as other senior citizens. “On top of that, being gay or trans means discrimination or stigma when seeking support services; many either don’t reach out for help or keep their identities closed off.” The minority stress that results from this situation increases physical and mental health challenges.

Discussing youth, Marshall’s concern centers on gay and trans kids quarantined at home with unsupportive families. 

According to the Trevor Project, “An unintended consequence of physical distancing is potential loss of the social connections that protect LGBTQ youth from suicidality.” And: “physical distancing may have additional unintended negative consequences related to being confined to an environment that may be unsupportive or abusive.”

To help provide support, Cville Pride has introduced online hangouts for youth, trans and nonbinary people, seniors, and others. People can sign up for access to these secure, safe forums online. 

The organization has also collected a comprehensive list of other support resources on their website.

“We’re an all-volunteer organization, and each of us has experienced some kind of fallout from this pandemic,” Marshall says. “Hopefully, what we’re offering can supply at least a little reminder to folks that they’re not alone.”

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