State Initiatives Focus on Protecting and Empowering Members of the LGBTQIA+ Community
This June, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) recognizes Pride Month, a month dedicated to the uplifting of LGBTQIA+ voices, the celebration of LGBTQIA+ culture, and the support of LGBTQIA+ rights.
Cal OES is committed to strengthening and protecting organizations that support members of the LGBTQIA+ community. The Victim Services Branch, within the Cal OES Grants Management Division, works to develop programs that support diversity, equity, and inclusion, while providing direct services to survivors of crime, including those in the LGBTQIA+ community.
There are more than 40 programs within the Victim Services Branch that serve survivors who self-identify as belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community.
The Victim Services Branch currently operates four competitive grant funding programs that focus on LGBTQIA+ survivors:
- Equality in Prevention and Services for Domestic Abuse Program
- Improve domestic violence services for members of the LGBTQIA+ community to increase access to culturally appropriate domestic violence education, prevention, outreach, and services for these unserved/underserved communities.
- Specialized Emergency Housing Program
- Provide emergency housing assistance resources and specialized services for survivors of crime, including for homeless youth, elderly, disabled, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning.
- Unserved/Underserved Victim Advocacy and Outreach Program
- Increase access to culturally appropriate services for unserved/underserved survivors of crime.
- Innovative Response to Marginalized Survivors Program
- Support innovative projects that serve marginalized survivors of crime, including those who have experienced gang violence, refugees, transgender young adults, and foster care youth, among other survivor groups.
Recently, the Victim Services Branch awarded over $47 million in grants to California nonprofits that support individuals who are at an increased risk for hate crimes due to gender identity, sexual orientation, and other social inequalities. These significant strategic investments will enable organizations, like Planned Parenthood, to make physical security enhancements to ensure the safety of community members.
The Cal OES Homeland Security Division is also dedicated to preventing, mitigating, and investigating acts of hate-motivated violence because no one should live in fear for their safety in this state or this country.
Cal OES is fostering a culture of kindness with the creation of a new Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion because we recognize and value the diversity that exists within our organization, throughout our communities, and among our partners while demonstrating concern and compassion for all.
This month, and all year, Cal OES honors LGBTQIA+ activism, acceptance, and promotes equal rights for every Californian.