COVID-19 UPDATE 3/26/20

Current Resources for LGBTQ Seniors in Southern Arizona

The isolation that Senior Pride battles so diligently in normal times is suddenly required of everyone. During this crisis, Senior Pride will be publishing COVID-19 UPDATES here in our news feed to help our community navigate this period safely.

It has been two weeks since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a worldwide pandemic and a week since Tucson Mayor Regina Romero issued her emergency declaration shutting down all dine-in restaurants, bars, gyms and other gathering spots in the city. Many working older adults have been furloughed or lost their jobs as businesses close, some forever, due to the spread of a coronavirus that is most deadly to the most vulnerable among us. Meanwhile, medical facilities and other services we rely on are asking us to stay away.

Some useful websites that can help you locate and access the services you need while COVID-19 contact restrictions are in place:

Arizona Together is the newest state resource web portal for Arizonans needing help during the COVID-19 pandemic. Launched by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey on March 27, Arizona Together provides links for financial assistance, help for seniors, meals, etc., most of which connect to Arizona government sites.

211Arizona is a state-funded referral service that can be accessed by phone by dialing 211, or online. 211Arizona has been around for several years offering links and telephone contacts for services for seniors and others on almost any topic you can think of. 211 Arizona offers a COVID-19 resource collection, which focuses on facts and prevention, but also contains links to utilities and other services.

Pima Council on Aging provides updates about PCOA services during the coronavirus crisis along with links to several public health organizations. As of March 26th: PCOA is continuing its meal delivery program and in-home assistance for homebound seniors; PCOA has converted its regular senior center lunch programs to pick-up services at each senior center; most other PCOA programs involving classes and face-to-face meetings have been suspended, but the PCOA Helpline is still staffed to take your questions at (520) 790-7262.

National Council on Aging (NCOA) has additional valuable resources for older adults and their caregivers, particularly mental health resources.

Pima County Health Department provides locally relevant coronavirus health care information, including a table, updated at least daily, showing the number of COVID-19 cases in Pima, as well as all other counties in Arizona, with information about testing services, health safety resources and local mental health services.

Approximately 3,000 Pima County residents are living with HIV or AIDS, and many of these are LGBTQ seniors. The Southern Arizona Aids Foundation (SAAF) provides case management and other services, including a food pantry, for this population. Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network offers social networking, education, and “CarePackages” of essential toiletries and cleaning supplies to about 400 registered TIHAN members. For COVID-19 related updates regarding the services of these two organizations, go to these pages on their websites: SAAF and TIHAN.

The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona partners with more than 250 nonprofits in Southern Arizona, including many neighborhood food pantries and soup kitchens, in addition to its monthly food box program that offers special food boxes for seniors. CFB has switched to a curbside food box delivery system during the COVID-19 crisis and is handling new intake requests online. New schedules and procedures are detailed on its COVID-19 page.

Interfaith Community Services is a key Community Food Bank partner and operates two of its own food banks. ICS also provides emergency cash support for many years to help strapped locals meet rent and utility bills. ICS has switched to a curbside model for its food banks. As with other organizations, most of its face-to-face services have been suspended but telephone lines remain open to answer questions.

Stay home. Stay safe. And stay tuned for more information to help you through this pandemic.