HYDE PARK — With parts of the city shutting down in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brave Space Alliance is assembling resources to help queer and trans residents on the South Side, taking its programming online and creating a crisis pantry to get food to those in need.
Donations are being accepted for the center’s rapid-response pantry, in which they’ve teamed up with the Center on Halsted and Chi City Foods, LLC, to deliver food and other essential items to LGBQTIA residents living in South Side neighborhoods within city boundaries.
Priority will be given to people who are elderly, sick, disabled, quarantined without pay, undocumented Black, Brown and Indigenous, organizers said. Residents in need of food delivery can sign up online.
“Queer and trans folks have always been our primary audience because they will be the first impacted and the last to be served,” said Brittney Thomas, director of programming. “We have to prioritize them.”
The organization is delivering dry foods, hygiene kits, bottles of water and other essential goods to those in need, and will begin deliveries March 23.
“We know that COVID-19 will have a disproportionate impact on our community, because Black and Brown queer and trans people are already severely under-resourced,” Thomas said in a statement. “Our community already experiences homelessness, works in alternative economies, and is denied access to affirming, quality healthcare at rates far above the standard population. These factors alone make us uniquely susceptible to public health crises.”
Drivers are also needed to make the deliveries, and those selected will be properly trained to reduce the risk of transmission. Those interested in volunteering or making a donation are encouraged to fill out this form.
People can donate food and non-perishable items at Brave Space Alliance’s office, 1515 E. 52nd Pl.
They are also taking precautionary measures to limit person-to-person exposure for its most vulnerable community members, offering 30-minute online appointment slots for those on the South and West sides. Appointments can be used for assistance with applying for recently expanded unemployment insurance benefits, SNAP and Medicaid, public housing, and other offerings such as career services, and financial planning services.
The organization will also be taking its support groups and other drop-in programming, typically held in public libraries on the city’s South Side, online.
Brave Space Alliance, the first Black-led, trans-led LGBTQ organization on Chicago’s South Side, provides programming, resources and services to LGBTQ individuals on the South and West sides of the city.
MORE WAYS YOU CAN HELP
Donations can be dropped off between 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at either our location at 1515 E. 52nd Place in Hyde Park, or with our community partner Center on Halsted, at 3656 N. Halsted St. Monday through Friday.
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