Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Get Ready For Breakfast: Buy Your Tickets for The Most Important Meal

Friday, September 23rd, 2022

The 2022 Most Important Meal event will be held on Sunday, October 23, 2022 to raise money for our food closet program.

Help local people who are living with chronic illnesses get the nutrition and support they need to stay as healthy as possible!

Join HVCS at the Fishkill Recreation Center on Sunday, October 23, 2022 from 9:00 am to 12 noon for a fun-filled breakfast blast from the past.

Fill up on cereal, granola or oatmeal and your favorite dairy (or dairy-free) topping at our self-serve grab-and-go bar. Not a cereal lover? We’ve got you covered with hot food items. You’ll also get bottomless coffee, tea and juice. We’ll also have contests, raffles, and candy sales all to raise funds for HVCS’ food and nutrition programs.

Our food and nutrition programs serve hundreds of people and families each year, and the budget is currently $10,000 short for 2023. We are hoping to raise that–and double–to ensure these vital services remain available for those in need.


Tickets are $35.00 per person over the age of 13. Children 12 and under are free! You can also buy a table of 10 for $250.00 and save $100!

More About MATTERS: Webinar & Panel Discussion

Monday, August 22nd, 2022

September 7, 1-2pm – New York MATTERS is a statewide referral network that has connected over 1,000 individuals to essential medications for opioid use disorder and additional support services. They have developed an electronic referral platform (hosted by the New York State Department of Health) to efficiently refer patients with opioid use disorder from emergency departments along with OB/GYN offices, correctional facilities, inpatient units, pre-hospital settings, etc. to community-based clinics. The app is now available in the Apple and Google Play stores, helping to connect patients, providers, first responders, and community organizations.

Panelists include:
Caleigh Loughran, NYSDOH Program Manager
Matthew Fallico, MSW, NYSDOH Program Coordinator
Sarah Santos, Hudson Valley Regional Care Coordinator with HVCS
Emily Payne, MSPH, NYSDOH Epidemiologist & Data Evaluator

Join and learn more about this program. The panel will briefly describe its roots and reasons for its
success and growth beyond borders and beyond its technical platform. We will explore the data-driven
lessons learned from the growth of the program, the role of community partners and regional care
coordinators, and how it all dovetails with SEPs and Health Hubs. We are hosting this webinar as a meeting format to encourage dialogue and collaboration throughout. This webinar is free to attend.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Discretely Request Free HIV, STD and Hep C Testing With Our New Online Form

Friday, July 22nd, 2022
Young man looking at oral HIV test swab on a bed.

HVCS has offered free HIV, STD (STI), and hepatitis C testing for decades. To set up your free tests, all you have to do is contact us!

We offer testing at our offices, at various health fairs and public events across the Hudson Valley, or, if necessary, your home. If that’s not an option, we will meet you in a safe, confidential (mutually agreed upon) space.

Start by providing a few details on our new online request form so we know how best to serve you. Find the form here.

New Podcast Episode: Problematic Sexual Behavior

Wednesday, June 29th, 2022

A new episode of our podcast, Honestly…From HVCS is now available, and this one’s all about sex. Problematic sexual behavior, that is, and host Andy Reid talks with psychotherapist Donal Clifford all about it. How does porn factor into sexual addiction? When is it time to ask for help? Subscribe and download new episodes wherever you get your favorite podcasts or right here.

Photos From Our High Score Hijinks Pride Kickoff

Friday, June 3rd, 2022

On Thursday, June 2, 2022, HVCS held a fundraiser and awareness-raiser for our Men’s Services Program and PrEP Program, in honor of Pride Month. Happy Valley, an arcade on Main Street in Beacon, generously donated the space, all quarters played in their classic video games, and proceeds from signature cocktails. We owe them a huge thanks! We appreciate everyone who came out to support us and to kick off the Pride season.

Harvey Milk Day

Monday, May 16th, 2022

Milk was a gay rights activist and one of the first openly gay officials in the United States. Born in Woodmere, New York on May 22, 1930, he worked as a public-school teacher on Long Island and a production associate for Broadway musicals. Soon after moving to California, he quickly became a community leader and a political spokesperson advocating for the rights of the LGBTQ folks in San Francisco. In 1977, after two previous attempts, Harvey Milk won a seat on the San Francisco City-County Board. Unfortunately, a year after, he was assassinated inside the City Hall. Today, Milk is celebrated not only for being a pioneer in the LGBTQ rights movement, but for his vision of equality and freedom for all. In 2009, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded Milk the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Learn more here.

High Score Hijinks: Pride Month Kickoff

Monday, May 16th, 2022
High Score Hijinks invitation

Join us for High Score Hijinks, a Pride kick-off and fundraiser for HVCS’ Prevention and Education programs! On Thursday, June 2nd from 6:00 to 9:00 pm, play classic arcade games and enjoy specialty cocktails at Happy Valley, Beacon’s “barcade” on Main Street. Play games with our Men’s Services Program: take a spin at our “Safer Sex Quiz” wheel, win great prizes, and have fun while supporting a great cause. Happy Valley will donate all quarters played that night to HVCS. For more information, call (845) 787-1789 or DM us. Happy Pride!

Lesbian Visibility Day – April 26, 2022

Tuesday, April 26th, 2022

From The Division of HIV/STD/HCV Prevention, Office of LGBTQ Services

Para la versión en español, favor hacer clic aquí

In observance of Lesbian Visibility Day, April 26, please join us in celebrating the lives and achievements of five extraordinary women. As we continue to create safer spaces for all New Yorkers, it’s essential to honor those who have paved the way, despite hardship and adversity, for a more equal and fair society.  
Barbara Gittings (b. 1932 – Vienna, Austria) Gittings organized the New York Chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis and, in 1965, with Frank Kameny of Washington, D.C., started the July 4 “Annual Reminder Day” pickets at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. She and Kameny also coordinated efforts that led the American Psychiatric Association in 1973 to remove homosexuality from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, officially affirming that sexual or romantic attraction to others of the same sex is not an illness and cannot be “cured.” Photo credit: Kay Tobin/New York Public Library
Ernestine Eckstein (b. 1941 – South Bend, Indiana) Soon after moving from Indiana to New York City in 1963, Eckstein became an active member of the Matachine Society of New York and the NYC chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis, where she served as vice president from 1964 to 1966. In 1965, she picketed at Independence Hall in July and the White House in October, the only Black person at either event. Photo credit: Kay Tobin/New York Public Library
Midge Costanza (b. 1932 – Leroy, NY) The first female city councilmember and first woman vice-Mayor of Rochester, Costanza was director of the White House Office of Public Liaison under President Jimmy Carter from January 1977 to September 1978. On March 26, 1977, at the suggestion of Jean O’Leary, Costanza convened a historic White House meeting of fourteen well-known gay rights activists. Photo credit: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
Jean O’Leary (b. 1948 – Kingston, NY) O’Leary was an active member of the Gay Activists Alliance, but after 2 years of growing frustration at the marginalization of women, she led a group of women to form Lesbian Feminist Liberation. Later, from 1976 to 1981, O’Leary was co-executive director with Bruce Voeller of the National Gay Task Force. And in 1988, O’Leary and Rob Eichberg started National Coming Out Day. Photo credit: Cleveland State University Alumni Association
Madeline Davis (b. 1940 – Buffalo, NY) After attending the 1971 March on Albany, Davis wrote Stonewall Nation, a folk gay-liberation anthem that got wide play at LGBT events well into the 1980s. In 1972, Davis became the first out lesbian delegate elected to the Democratic National Convention. Her speech calling for the inclusion of gay rights in the party platform can be heard here. In 1994 Davis, with co-author Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy, published Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold, a history of the working-class lesbian community in Buffalo from the 1930s to the early 1960s. Her extensive collection of historical materials are now housed in the Dr. Madeline Davis LGBTQ Archive of Western New York at SUNY College at Buffalo.          Photo credit: Madeline Davis


En conmemoración del Día de Visibilidad Lésbica, el 26 de abril, les invitamos a unirse para celebrar las vidas y logros de cinco extraordinarias mujeres. A la par que continuamos creando lugares más seguros para todas las personas en Nueva York, es esencial rendir honores a quienes han abierto el camino, a pesar de la adversidad y dificultades, para una sociedad más justa y equitativa.
Barbara Gittings (Nto. 1932 – Viena, Austria) Gittings organizó el capítulo de Nueva York de la organización “Daughters of Bilitis” y, en 1965, en colaboración con Frank Kameny de Washington DC, comenzó las protestas del 4 de julio denominadas “Annual Reminder Day” en el Salón de la Independencia en Filadelfia. Junto a Kameny también coordinó los esfuerzos que llevaron a la Asociación Americana de Psiquiatría a remover la homosexualidad del Manual Diagnóstico y Estadístico de los Trastornos Mentales (DSM, por sus siglas en inglés) en 1973. Afirmando oficialmente que la atracción sexual y romántica hacia otras personas del mismo sexo no es una enfermedad y no se puede “curar”. Foto: Kay Tobin/Biblioteca Publica de Nueva York.
Ernestine Eckstein (Nto. 1941 – South Bend, Indiana) En 1963, poco tiempo después de mudarse de Indiana a la ciudad de Nueva York, Eckstein se convirtió en una integrante activa de la “Matachine Society” de Nueva York y del capítulo de la ciudad de Nueva York de la organización “Daughters of Bilitis”, donde ejerció como vicepresidenta desde 1964 hasta 1966. En julio de 1965 protestó en el Salón de la Independencia y octubre del mismo año en la Casa Blanca, siendo la única persona de la raza negra en asistir a ambos eventos. Foto: Kay Tobin/Biblioteca Pública de Nueva York
Midge Costanza (Nto. 1932 – Leroy, NY) La primera mujer concejal y primera vicealcaldesa de la ciudad de Rochester, Constanza fue directora de la Oficina de Enlace Público de la Casa Blanca bajo la presidencia de Jimmy Carter desde enero de 1977 hasta septiembre de 1978. El 26 de marzo de 1977, motivada por Jean O’Leary, Constanza convocó una histórica reunión en la Casa Blanca con la participación de catorce reconocidas figuras de los derechos gais. Foto: Administración de Registros y Archivos Nacionales de los EE. UU.
Jean O’Leary (Nto. 1948 – Kingston, NY) O’Leary fue una integrante activa de la “Gay Activists Alliance”, pero luego de 2 años de frustración por la marginación de las mujeres, lideró un grupo de mujeres que formaron el movimiento “Lesbian Feminist Liberation”. Tiempo después, desde 1976 a 1981, O’Leary fue codirectora ejecutiva junto a Bruce Voeller del “National Gay Task Force”. En 1988, O’Leary y Rob Eichberg comenzaron el Día Nacional de Salir del Clóset Foto: Asociación de Exalumnos de la Universidad de Cleveland
Madeline Davis (Nto. 1940 – Buffalo, NY) Luego de participar en la Marcha de 1971 en Albany, Davis escribió “Stonewall image024.pngNation”, un himno de liberación gay que se popularizó en eventos gais hasta la década de 1980. En 1972, Davis se convirtió en la primera delegada abiertamente lesbiana en la Convención Nacional Demócrata. Su discurso en favor de la inclusión de los derechos gais en la plataforma del partido se puede escuchar aquí. En 1994, Davis, junto a la coautora Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy, publicó “Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold” una historia sobre la comunidad de mujeres lesbianas trabajadoras en Búfalo desde la década del 1930 hasta comienzos de los años 60. Actualmente, su extensa colección de materiales históricos se encuentra en los Archivos LGBTQ del Oeste de Nueva York Dr. Madeline Davis en la Universidad de Nueva York (SUNY, por sus siglas en inglés) en Búfalo. Foto: Madeline Davis

New Mid-Hudson Outreach Program Provides Harm Reduction Services  

Friday, April 1st, 2022
Mid-Hudson Outreach Program

Starting today, Hudson Valley Community Services (HVCS) commences a new overdose prevention and harm reduction program people who use drugs (PWUD) in Orange and Sullivan counties. Mid-Hudson Outreach’s goal is to expand access to MOUD (medication for opioid use disorder), Narcan (Naloxone) to reverse overdoses, and connect clients to available resources. These include HVCS’ own Health Hub and Syringe Exchange Program (SEP), Expanded Syringe Access Program (ESAP), HIV/STD/Hepatitis C testing, case management, and food assistance. Ultimately, the program empowers clients to make safer choices that have a positive impact on their overall health.

Mid-Hudson Outreach staff will use a variety of cooperative relationships to monitor and seek out where PWUD tend to congregate. The Prevention Specialists and part-time Peer will distribute free harm reduction supplies and information to build rapport with new clients. Once a person expresses interest and enrolls in services, staff can assist them remotely for the duration of their enrollment. This enables PWUD who may be in a contemplative stage of their use to identify and follow their own goals. Clients will work closely with program staff in combating barriers impacting their needs. All participants will be offered safer injection supplies, Narcan training and kits, safer sex supplies, and other needed items to promote risk reduction and overdose prevention.

Special Focus on Rural Areas
Mid-Hudson Outreach was created specifically to improve access to care and increase syringe access for PWUD in remote, rural areas like most of Orange and Sullivan counties. The program will increase Narcan access and distribution; and decrease overdose death rates.

This program complements Ulster County Outreach Program and the Dutchess Regional Care Coordinator to empower PWUDs in the Hudson Valley and strengthen their health care autonomy.

Meet Our Consumer Advisory Board Co-chairs

Monday, March 7th, 2022
Consumer Advisory Board cochairs chosen for 2022

We are excited to announce that our 2022 HCAB Co-Chairs have been selected! Please join us virtually on March 23, 2022 at 2:00 PM to congratulate Maria and Robert. For more information on how to attend, please call Cierra Brown at (914) 785-8273.