Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

Community Support Organizations in Gay Neighborhoods: Assessing Engagement During the Covid-19 Pandemic

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Abstract:  Volunteerism, grassroots activism, and mutual aid have been critical to the advancement of rights and opportunities for LGBTQ+ people. These activities are institutionally anchored within supportive organizations embedded in LGBTQ+ communities. But these supportive organizations can be stressed by external crises, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, limiting the capacity for providing routine services. This article provides a typology of community support organizations—including healthcare providers, business improvement districts, neighborhood planning organizations, and social groups and clubs—to better understand how non-governmental organizations and non-profit entities provide services not traditionally provided by government agencies for LGBTQ+ people. We characterize how community support organizations continued to provide critical services to the LGBTQ+ community—consistent with the missions and aims of these organizations—while also providing services and information related to health and safety during the Covid-19 pandemic. The article concludes with takeaway messages that synthesize the functions and services of community support organizations and explain how various types of supportive organizations in gay neighborhoods responded to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Keywords:  community; gay neighborhood; human services; LGBTQ+; non-profit organizations



© Daniel Baldwin Hess, Alex Bitterman. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.