How You Can Help: Center on Halsted

How You Can Help: Center on Halsted

Last week, we brushed up on the history of Center on Halsted. In case you missed it, or loved it so much you'd like to read it again, you can find it here.

Center on Halsted offers free, confidential, rapid HIV testing 7 days a week. On Wednesdays between noon and 8 pm, rapid testing is available without an appointment. This is not an opportunity for volunteering but is equally as important.

In which we learn how we can help:


Among CoH's most amazing programs are the SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders) events and programs. Seniors are invited to enjoy a catered lunch three times a week, in which they socialize with other lively seniors and volunteers. SAGE events and programs offer a range of activities and social events focused on LGBTQ seniors, including (but not limited to) a Pride Parade viewing party, foreign language classes, a writing group, and Christmas dinner. This allows seniors who often live in facilities that are not LGBTQ friendly or tolerant, are living with limited social contacts, and are very often alienated from their families, to engage within their community in a safe and welcoming environment. For many seniors, this was something they may not have dreamed of when they were young and living in fear.

CoH also supports a bustling youth community that meets regularly. In addition to social activities like open mic, CoH offers practical services like assistance with locating housing and employment, as well as individual and family counseling. In 2013, CoH will begin offering a program that includes tutoring and preparation for taking the GED.

CoH's Anti-Violence Project is a 24-hour crisis hotline that offers immediate counseling to individuals dealing with hate crime violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, discrimination, and/or police misconduct. The AVP Crisis Hotline utilizes specifically-trained volunteers who can offer support specific to the LGBT community, in a way that hotlines that handle mostly heterosexual callers may not.

In addition to the established programs offered, CoH welcomes ideas from the community. Do you know how to knit, paint, sketch? Do you have a special skill, talent, or fun activity that you would be willing to share with the community? CoH welcomes fresh faces and new ideas from all members of the community. Just give them a call.

Other volunteer possibilities include:

With no additional training:

Administrative & Program Support

Working special events that CoH hosts, including community and cultural programs

Participation in the SAGE program, working with LGBT elders

Event photography and theater techs

With minimal training:

Monitor and offer instruction in the Cyber Center

Working the reception desk

With extensive training:

CoH’s Youth Programs

Breakfast Club (Youth Program)

Youth Space supervisor

Anti-Violence Project Crisis Hotline


Mental Health Services

Legal Services

I get it, you're busy. If you don’t have time to physically volunteer at CoH there are other ways to help. Join the Community and Director’s Circles by becoming a supporting member; support through direct donations or by attending events held at CoH. Also, the theater, terrace, gym, board room, Cyber Center, and Senior Center are all available for rent by organizations, clubs, groups and individuals. Supporting the community can be as easy as hosting your next basketball game, baby shower, birthday party, knitting circle, you name it, in any of the beautiful spaces available.


Center on Halsted

3656 North Halsted Street

Chicago, Illinois 60613










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