The Power of Community in Crisis

Photograph of virus with rainbow overlay

It is in moments of crisis when community seems most important. With the spread of COVID-19, right now is one of those moments.

This virus affects and imperils people throughout the world, while its impact grows seemingly hourly in the Bay Area. It appears to be indiscriminate when it comes to infection — but not when it comes to impact. As you are surely aware, the elderly and people with certain medical conditions are at particular risk.

COVID-19 and our community

Although there’s been little publicity about it, many in our LGBTQ community fall among those especially vulnerable. Last week, Horizons joined dozens of LGBTQ organizations across the country in signing an open letter advocating for attention to the needs of LGBTQ people at higher risk, including people living with HIV, LGBTQ elders, and all those in our community for whom “staying at home” or “frequent hand-washing” are not easy options — such as those without housing or who survive through sex work.

Our nonprofits — on the frontlines

Thousands of those most vulnerable are turning to our local LGBTQ organizations, particularly front-line groups providing vital services. Yet many of those nonprofits are suddenly taxed by accelerating need, and dozens are dramatically retooling their operations. We also know that numerous groups are canceling fundraising events that they depend on.

Horizons’ staff is in touch with dozens of organizational leaders, keeping a finger on the community pulse. In times of crisis, it is essential that these organizations can be strong, and Horizons will be working to support them during this uncertain time. 

Forward in community

Although right now we have fewer opportunities to be in community in person, the power in our community knows no bounds. For us, crisis is all too familiar. While COVID-19 differs in many ways from HIV, there is one way in which it does not differ at all: We get through by being together, stepping up together, giving together, and taking the very best care we can of ourselves and of one another. 

We are community. And at Horizons, we will continue to be in community with you throughout this crisis and far beyond.

Our office is functioning during usual hours, with staff working from home. Our inboxes remain open, and email is the best way to reach us. Please stay healthy and safe.

Learn about Horizons' LGBTQ COVID-19 Response Emergency Fund and how you can provide support and find support during this crisis.