The following statement was released by speqtrum on March 17th, 2020:
To our speqtrum community,
We wanted to update you on what we’re up to for the next few weeks, given that we won’t be running our usual events while we work to practice social distancing during the current pandemic.
First, we want to acknowledge that our community already experiences isolation and loneliness at disproportionately high rates. The cancellation of events, programs, and in person supports has been really difficult for some 2SLGBTQIA+ youth in our community. We also know that some of us can’t afford time off work, or to stock up on supplies to prepare for a possible quarantine. Some of us are now facing an indefinite period of time at home with parents, family members, or roommates, who aren’t supportive of our communities or identities. Some of us may be going back in the closet, or hiding parts of ourselves that we’re used to expressing. We see you, we’re here for you, and we’re going to work through this together as a community, as best as we can.
THANK YOU to all of those in our 2SLGBTQIA+ *and* our broader Hamilton community for demonstrating true solidarity and mutual aid in these trying times, particularly grassroots efforts. We encourage all of you to keep reaching out and supporting each other- it is community care that will make all the difference.
Behind the scenes, we will be working on securing funding to ensure speqtrum’s future and to grow our current capacity. Moving forward, for the next three weeks at least, (and potentially longer), speqtrum will shift to providing peer support online, as well as running online events through various online platforms. For this week, online peer support will be provided Wednesday March 18th 5-7pm and Friday March 20th 2-4pm. During these time periods, speqtrum staff will be available on Instagram (@speqtrumYHM) and Facebook to chat, provide emotional/peer support, and connect you with other resources in the community. We cannot provide crisis support, but we are more than happy to listen and help problem solve as we are able. Outside of these periods we will still be checking our social media and email inboxes, but we may not be able to respond immediately. Additionally, we will be running another Instagram live event on Thursday March 19th 7pm. We will be crafting with common household items, and you can follow along with us! Stay tuned to our social media for further updates!
We are also looking at other ways we can connect as a community online. Stay tuned for more announcements next week, and keep your suggestions coming.
Finally, we have compiled a list of resources that may be helpful in supporting you and your own communities in the coming weeks:
CareMongering-HamOnt: Hamilton Community Response to COVID19
This is a Facebook group for “sharing and organizing community resources in response to COVID-19. The goal of this group is to organize the local community on the grassroots level to ensure vulnerable community members have access to food, housing, healthcare, and other necessities.” This is a really good resource if you’re looking to get involved in providing help on the ground or if you’re in need of any food, supplies, etc.
Speqtrum community member Jake has compiled a broad list of community support programs in a google doc: https://docs.google.com/…/1MgIJtvwGlS6Wpu0yyY7syDaIuG…/edit…
“Youth Line offers confidential and non-judgemental peer support through our telephone, text and chat services. Get in touch with a peer support volunteer from Sunday to Friday, 4:00PM to 9:30 PM”
“Trans Lifeline’s Hotline is a peer support service run by trans people, for trans and questioning callers. Our operators are located all over the U.S. and Canada, and are all trans-identified. If you are in crisis or just need someone to talk to, even if it’s just about whether or not you’re trans, please call us. We will do our best to support you and provide you resources”
If you have feedback for us, ideas, or questions, feel free to message us here, on Instagram, or email us at email@example.com!
In community and solidarity,
Your speqtrum staff team