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DAP Health Celebrates El Día de Los Rey …

DAP Health Celebrates El Día de Los Reyes (Three Kings Day) Early at Revivals Thrift Store in Indio

 

In many cultures around the world, January 6 (AKA The Epiphany) is considered the day the Three Wise Men finally arrived in Bethlehem to shower newborn Baby Jesus with gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Latinos specifically celebrate this day, known to them as El Día de Los Reyes (Three Kings Day), with a plentiful, evening family meal that concludes with a sweet baked bread known as Rosca de Reyes (Three Kings bread) for dessert.

In cultural solidarity with the East Valley community, DAP Health joined families in and around Indio by celebrating El Día de Los Reyes one day early — on January 5, 2023 — from 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m. at the Indio branch of its Revivals Thrift Stores. While supplies lasted, shoppers who spent $10 or more received a complimentary rosca (valued at $17) from local bakery Panadería y Tortillería Guerrero.

Día de Los Reyes marks the end of the holidays for the Latino community,” says Revivals Indio Store Manager Rosie Escobedo. “In celebrating this warm tradition and giving the gift of roscas, we at DAP Health and Revivals are expressing our appreciation for the Latino community of the East Valley. Without our loyal shoppers — most of whom are Latino — we wouldn’t be doing as well as we are in this location. We’ve been busy from Day One. People are grateful for the quality of our merchandise and for our low prices. We want to show them we’re grateful for them, too.”

“It’s such an honor and pleasure to have been chosen by DAP Health to contribute to this special day of giving back at Revivals,” says Panadería y Tortillería Guerrero Bakery Manager Oscar Guerrero. Run by parents Eutimio and Elva, with the help of Oscar and his sister Lorena, this family affair (located on Highway 111 at Clinton Street) has supplied its loyal customers with tortillas, tostadas, and so much more, all freshly made daily, since 2004.

“Our roscas have a slight orange flavor to them,” continues Guerrero. “Their shape signifies the kings’ crowns, the fruit represents their jewels. Every year, we bake about 1,500. They sell out quickly, straight out of the oven. People wait in line for them, something that makes us very proud and happy.”

More than 400 people turned out for the event, with more than 140 families taking a rosca home, compliments of Revivals and DAP Health.

Consistently voted the best of its kind in the Coachella Valley, Revivals is DAP Health’s chain of thrift/vintage/resale stores, staffed predominantly by volunteers, with outposts in Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Palm Desert, and Indio. One hundred percent of its profits fund the commitment to health equity espoused by the agency.

“By opening our Sexual Wellness Clinic, as well as our fourth Revivals store, in Indio, in 2022, we at DAP Health have shown our commitment to the health and prosperity of our desert neighbors in the East Valley,” says Director of Retail Dane Koch. “I’m so happy members of the community came out in full force to join our staff and volunteers in celebrating Three Kings Day, a wonderful family tradition that aligns perfectly with the values of our organization.”

A Moment with Revivals Donor and Shopper …

A Moment With Revivals Donor and Shopper Ann Sheffer 

Ann Sheffer is committed to getting involved in her community in as many ways as possible. From 2015 to 2021, Sheffer — who with husband Bill Scheffler has called the desert home for 15 years — served on DAP Health’s all-volunteer board of directors, also co-chairing the organization’s 100 Women donor group and annual Everyday Heroes event, which honors DAP Health’s devoted core of volunteers. 

Chair of the Palm Springs Public Arts Commission also from 2015 to 2021, Sheffer is currently a member of the task force overseeing the upcoming Palm Springs AIDS Memorial Sculpture, to be created by esteemed artist Phillip K. Smith III and placed in the city’s Downtown Park. 

Sheffer continues to be a stalwart DAP Health supporter. Most recently, that patronage took the form of a large and varied donation to the Palm Springs Revivals location. Below, the humanitarian activist talks about why she gives to the award-winning resale store, and why others should follow her lead. 

 

How did you first hear of Revivals? 

Well, this amazing retail space is clearly beloved in the community, so I surely heard of it fairly soon after Bill and I moved here. But I didn’t really appreciate how much money it generates for DAP Health until I was on the board. It’s quite extraordinary. 

 

How long have you been a Revivals donor, handing over your pre-loved items so they can be re-loved? 

Certainly since I was a board member, but probably even before that. I remember once packing up a suitcase full of clothing and donating all of it — including the suitcase! I especially like what my dear friend, the late Barbara Keller, once said. When she would buy something new, she would take something old out of her closet and put it in a pile to donate to Revivals. Barbara was my role model and such an inspiration. She was the president of DAP Health’s board when I joined, and she and I — alongside our friend Terri Ketover — were committed to increasing DAP Health’s outreach to women, as clients and donors. Giving to Revivals is the perfect way to achieve this.  

 

Tell me about your most recent donation to the Palm Springs store. 

After not going to many events during COVID, I realized that I had literally dozens of gala outfits, costume jewelry, and uniquely Palm Springs purses in fun shapes such as flamingos, cosmopolitan cocktails, popcorn containers, and the like. Bill and I also had everyday clothing that had been hardly worn, not to mention kitchen appliances, games, and several hundred books. 

 

Why do you think Revivals is especially deserving? 

Because of the work DAP Health does. It really is one of the most well-thought-out and best-run organizations in the desert. CEO David Brinkman has a vision, and as board members, we were just there to make it happen. There are many ways the agency raises money, but Revivals seems like the perfect kind of fit to what DAP Health does. It’s good for the people who make donations, and for the people who can come buy great things at reasonable prices. You give, but you also take back a lot of satisfaction from having been part of it. 

 

You’re also a Revivals shopper? 

Absolutely. It’s such a great collection of stuff! The other day, when I made my drop-off, [DAP Health Director of Brand Marketing] Steven Henke took me into the back room, where some people were repairing jewelry and electronics while others were sorting books. It’s like Santa’s Workshop. There’s always a constant flow of donations to all four stores — in Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Palm Desert, and now Indio — so the volunteers and staff have to keep processing so many things. If you compare Revivals to other resale stores, there’s no question it just has so much more pizzazz and style. 

 

You would no doubt strongly encourage your fellow desert dwellers to follow your example and donate. 

Again, absolutely. Palm Springs is a very generous, compassionate community on many levels. But we also like to have fun while raising funds — at events such as DAP Health’s The Chase or the upcoming Palm Springs Film Awards gala. Donating to Revivals is a way to recycle outfits while also benefiting those in need. The best example of this “circle of life” is the time someone — I’ll never say who — showed up at a DAP Health event wearing a very colorful, elegant outfit I’d donated to Revivals. That brought such a big smile to my face. 

DAP Health Celebrates East Valley Expans …

DAP Health Celebrates East Valley Expansion with Two Exciting Events

Sexual Wellness Clinic and Revivals Indio Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies to be held Saturday, July 16

 

In its continued mission to meet clients where they are with what they need, DAP Health announced the opening of its new sexual wellness clinic at 81-719 Doctor Carreon Blvd, Suite D in Indio. The clinic, which officially opens on July 11, 2022, will operate Monday through Friday from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm and will offer testing for HIV, hepatitis C, and sexually transmitted infections including gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis. The clinic will also provide free pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) services. Case management and referrals to additional resources will also be available. Testing and treatment are confidential and free of charge. 

 “Our mission is to enhance and promote the health and well-being of our community and we do that by meeting people where they are,” said CJ Tobe, director of community health and sexual wellness at DAP Health who led the project. “We are adjusting the system to meet the needs of the community by not asking for your insurance while providing free services that don’t take weeks to be seen by a clinician. We will test you, treat you, prescribe Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), and connect you to any other medical or social support needs you may have. All of these services at the clinic are free from cost and free from judgment and shame.” 

Indio Artists Help Make DAP Health's New Sexual Wellness Clinic a Safe, Welcoming Space

DAP Health is also celebrating the first anniversary of its Indio Revivals resale store.  Located at 82-150 CA-111, Indio (corner of Monroe and Hwy 111), Revivals offers an affordable shopping experience while raising funds for comprehensive care at DAP Health.  “We are truly branching out to bring DAP Health to the east county,” said Dane Koch, director of retail for Revivals.  “Revivals is there to provide that affordable shopping experience while supporting the mission of DAP Health.”    

Comprised of a unique blend of staff and volunteers, the welcoming community feeling at Revivals would not be possible without the generosity of those who volunteer. Over 180 volunteers donate over 13,000 hours each year, reselling gently used furniture, home goods, and fashion that has been donated by the generous local community at their four store locations. 

 The magic really happens behind the scenes where the team of volunteers sorts, prices and touches every donated item before it comes to the sales floor.  Together, the team has created a unique shopping experience - an exciting treasure hunt that delivers on their promise of affordability, discoverability, and community connection. 

To commemorate these two milestones, DAP Health will host individual ribbon-cutting ceremonies on Saturday, July 16, 2022.  The first will take place at 10:00 a.m. the DAP Health sexual wellness clinic and will include a tour of the facility.  The second will occur an hour later at 11:00 a.m. at Revivals Indio and will include a free taco cart lunch, family-friendly give-a-ways, and a storewide sale.  All are invited to attend. 

Together, the clinic and the store represent DAP Health’s commitment to providing more people with more access to health services and expanding affordable shopping opportunities.  “We are looking forward to building a deep relationship with the community and becoming part of the community,” said Koch.  “As we mark this anniversary, this is a personal invitation to join us and see our store. If you are new to Revivals, come see what we have to offer.  If you are already a Revivals shopper, come celebrate with us.”  

 

About DAP Health 

DAP Health is an advocacy-based health center in Palm Springs, CA serving over 10,000 patients, offering medical and mental health care, free STI testing and treatment, dentistry, pharmacy, and lab services. A variety of wraparound services enable patients to experience optimal health, including social services, support groups, alternative therapies, and other wellness services. Excellent HIV care is provided by the largest team of specialized clinicians in the area. Click here to read more about our commitment to health equity.      

DAP Health opened one of California’s first COVID clinics and hotlines to offer screening, testing, and treatment. DAP Health is also working to address social determinants of health that are causing negative health outcomes during this pandemic, like food and housing insecurity, joblessness, isolation, and access to ongoing health care.  

DAP Health’s sexual health clinic offers free STI testing and treatment, free Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) services, and free HIV and HCV testing. DAP Health has earned Charity Navigator’s highest rating for the twelfth consecutive year – landing DAP Health in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that DAP Health exceeds industry standards in terms of financial health, accountability, and transparency.      

Visit www.daphealth.org to learn more.      

 

About Revivals Stores 

To help fund services, DAP Health opened its own thrift store in 1994 called Revivals which offers the valley’s best collection of resale items alongside brand new furniture at bargain prices under its owned brand - Mode. Revivals raises over $1 million annually for the non-profit, turning over 100% of profits to DAP Health each year since it first opened in 1994, and as the advocacy-based healthcare organization opened its doors wider to welcome more neighbors into care, Revivals opened more stores to help fund the work. 

Revivals’ newest store location is in Indio, CA. at the corner of Monroe and Highway 111. The store was designed to embrace the brand evolution of DAP Health and reflect the organization's commitment to community throughout.   

You can support this great cause by volunteering, shopping, or donating to Revivals or directly to DAP Health. All donations provide comprehensive care for the 10,000 individuals who call DAP Health their health care home.  Learn more at www.revivalstores.com 

Visit www.revivalsstores.com to learn more. 

 

 

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New campus space to be officially design …

DAP Health to Hold Special Tribute to the late Humanitarian & Philanthropist Annette Bloch

 

PALM SPRINGS, Monday, February 10, 2022 – DAP Health will hold a special tribute to longtime donor Annette Bloch from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 24, 2022. Members of the print and broadcast media are invited to attend.  

The on-campus, outdoor, by-invitation-only event —which 200 people are expected to attend — will feature appearances by DAP Health CEO David Brinkman, Bloch’s daughter (and head of her charitable foundation) Linda Lyon, longtime friends Terri Ketover and Mark Adams, Riverside County Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez, DAP Health client, and PromoHomo.TV executive producer and host Nicholas Snow, Coachella Valley Housing Coalition Executive Director Pedro S.G. Rodriguez, and Oscar- and Grammy-nominated — and Tony-winning — lyricist, producer, and director David Zippel. 
 

Portions of the program will be devoted to officially dedicating DAP Health’s newest clinical space as The Annette Bloch CARE Building, and to marking the ceremonial groundbreaking of future on-campus affordable housing complex Visa Sunrise II, which will boast 60 units constructed in collaboration with Coachella Valley Housing Coalition. 
 

“Annette Bloch was a longtime cherished friend not only to DAP, but to me personally,” says Brinkman. “On the evening of February 24, some of the most important people to Annette, and to DAP, will come together to celebrate her life and to recognize her immense contributions to our organization. With the naming of The Annette Bloch CARE Building, not only do we wish to burnish her legacy, but we are ensuring that members of this community — her community — understand for decades to come just how pivotal a role she played at DAP.” 
 

About Annette Bloch 

Annette Bloch passed away of cancer at the age of 94 in her hometown of Kansas City last year. The diminutive philanthropic powerhouse spent winter seasons in Palm Springs, first with husband Richard, of H&R Block fame, then later in life — following Richard’s death, also to cancer — with life partner Andrei T. Muresan. Bloch was a quite formidable presence in all corners of our community, making charitable donations, attending benefits, volunteering, or dining out with dear friends. 

 

About Annette Bloch & DAP Health 

In 2012, Bloch donated $1 million to establish the Annette Bloch Cancer Care Center at DAP Health. In 2016, she announced a $3 million gift to fund the expansion of DAP Health's medical facilities. The gift enabled DAP to purchase the former Riverside County Health building on its campus. Its renovation is currently more than 50% complete and will ultimately enable DAP to go from serving 2,000 patients per year to more than 25,000 annually. 

About DAP Health 

DAP Health (DAP) is an advocacy-based health center in Palm Springs, CA serving over 10,000 patients, offering medical and mental healthcare, STI testing and treatment, dentistry, pharmacy, and lab. A variety of wraparound services enable patients to experience optimal health, including social services, support groups, alternative therapies, and other wellness services. Excellent HIV care is provided by the largest team of specialized clinicians in the area.     

DAP opened one of California’s first COVID clinics and hotlines to offer screening, testing, and treatment. DAP is also working to address social determinants of health that are causing negative health outcomes during this pandemic, like food and housing insecurity, joblessness, isolation, and access to ongoing healthcare.  

DAP’s sexual health clinic offers judgment-free STI testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and HCV testing. DAP has earned Charity Navigator’s highest rating for the twelfth consecutive year – landing DAP in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that DAP exceeds industry standards in terms of financial health, accountability, and transparency.      

Visit www.daphealth.org to learn more.      

Palm Springs AIDS Memorial Sculpture Tas …

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press Contact: The Development Department Inc.

Phone Number:  760-669-3366

PSAMS@devdeptinc.com

Palm Springs AIDS Memorial Sculpture Task Force Launches Capital Campaign During World AIDS Day

November 30, 2021

The Palm Springs AIDS Memorial Sculpture Task Force is excited to announce that the AIDS Memorial Sculpture is one step closer to becoming a reality. The Palm Springs City Council recently unanimously approved the acceptance of the Sculpture to be placed in the new Downtown City Park. The Task Force has also partnered with DAP Health to provide a dedicated link to enable community members to help fund the Palm Springs AIDS Memorial Sculpture, visit https://psaidsmemorial.org to donate and for more information.  

“December 1, World AIDS Day was chosen as the launch, as it signifies the remembrance of those we’ve lost to HIV/AIDS and gives renewed hope that one day, the virus will be eradicated. It is our responsibility to remember their lives and to continue to tell their stories, so that they are never forgotten,” said Mike Richey, Co-Chair National AIDS Memorial. “AIDS has affected every community across the world, and it is for this reason that AIDS Memorials should be established to honor & remember those lost.”  

The Task Force’s vision is to provide the AIDS Memorial Sculpture as a gift to the City of Palm Springs and people of the Valley. Internationally acclaimed artist based in the Coachella Valley, Phillip K. Smith, III, has been commissioned to design the memorial, which will provide an opportunity for reflection, remembrance and hope once its placed in the new City of Palm Springs Downtown Park.

“The AIDS Memorial Sculpture will be a touchstone for unity, hope, grief, and healing in the Coachella Valley.  As a monolithic, singular stone sculpture, the carved surfaces will dance with light, shadow, and reflection.  Through rotating grooves cut into the gloss surface as matte marks signifying unity through struggle or the soft curve of undulating forms evoking healing over grief, this is a memorial to be touched, to be felt. It is a timeless, enduring landmark delicately placed on the land. It is heavy, but light -- lifting hope, lifting struggle, and lifting up what is important,” described Phillip K. Smith, III.

The Palm Springs AIDS Memorial Task Force’s mission is to ensure the lives of those lost are never forgotten, and that their stories and lives are remembered into the future.  We also envision an opportunity to use this memorial as a means to educate the public about HIV prevention, diagnosis and treatment options available to everyone who seeks information and to help direct individuals to resources available to them throughout the city, and the country.

The goal of the Task Force is to raise the necessary funds to support the creation, installation and ongoing resources to maintain this sculpture for generations to come.  Given the impact that HIV/AIDS has had on our community, we believe there will be great support for securing the necessary funds to make this AIDS Memorial Sculpture a reality. 

To help facilitate that fundraising goal, the Task Force has enlisted Paul Clowers and Ellen Wolf of The Development Department Inc. to lead the project. The Task Force has also partnered with DAP Health to act as the fiscal processing agent for donations which can be made by visiting daphealth.org/aids-memorial-fund. For addition information or donation assistance please contact The Development Department Inc. at PSAMS@DevDeptInc.com, call 760-669-3366, or visit https://psaidsmemorial.org

DAP Health sees large uptick in HIV and …

DAP Health sees large uptick in HIV and STI testing since offering free service  

Eliminating cost barrier has drawn more people to get tested and care in past four months 

PALM SPRINGS, CA – Since eliminating the cost barriers in its Sexual Wellness Clinic/Orange Clinic, DAP Health has seen an ongoing STI increases while HIV has remained the same, according to CJ Tobe, the Director of Community Health and Sexual Wellness.  

DAP Health knew access to these services would be vital while social activities increased 

In the first four months:  

  • The Orange Clinic saw over 2,000 patients. 
  • On average, DAP Health is seeing 170 more patients per month than when patients were being charged for services.  
  • The clinic started the same amount of people on PrEP during the four months than they did in the prior 12 months.  
  • There were over 50 appointments for rapid start to ensure people newly diagnosed with HIV, or returning to care, have access to HIV medications within 7 days.  

“We are proactively protecting the community’s health,” Tobe said. “Eliminating the cost barrier has proven to increase access to folks in our community for PrEP and STI services.” 

Free services include STI testing and treatment (gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis), HIV prevention (pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP; post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP), and HIV and hepatitis C testing.

If anyone tests positive for HIV, the sexual wellness clinic will provide that person with rapid start medication and linkage to care, an essential step in reducing new HIV infections and improving the health outcomes of the person living with HIV. While the cost of ongoing HIV treatment is not part of the free services, DAP Health offers financial assistance. 

DAP Health continues to make sexual wellness a priority by providing more people with more access to health services. It also continues to expand its ability to treat more people. 

"We welcome all people, period. And now we are eliminating more barriers to access sexual wellness services," Tobe said while explaining why DAP Health has decided to offer free sexual wellness services. 

“One of those barriers is cost. DAP Health learned many people testing positive for STIs and HIV had limited incomes,” Tobe says. “For them, the prior $25 fee for STI testing and PrEP was an impediment to care. DAP Health decided to remove that cost barrier to improve health equity.”

About DAP Health 

DAP Health is an advocacy-based health center in Palm Springs, Calif., serving more than 10,000 patients, offering medical and mental health care, STI testing and treatment, dentistry, pharmacy, and lab services. A variety of wraparound services enable patients to experience optimal health, including social services, support groups, alternative therapies, and other wellness services. Excellent HIV care is provided by the largest team of specialized clinicians in the area.     

DAP Health opened one of California’s first COVID clinics and hotlines to offer screening, testing, and treatment. DAP Health also is working to address the social determinants of health that are causing negative health outcomes during this pandemic, like food and housing insecurity, joblessness, isolation, and access to ongoing healthcare. 

DAP Health’s sexual health clinic offers STI testing and treatment, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) testing. DAP Health has earned Charity Navigator’s highest rating for the twelfth consecutive year — landing DAP in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that DAP Health exceeds industry standards in terms of financial health, accountability, and transparency.     

Visit www.daphealth.org to learn more.    

 

 

Revivals Back Alley Event 2021 Shines a …

Revivals Back Alley Event 2021 Shines a Light on Leather Community

This community is ready to start coming out again, and the numbers prove it.

The Revivals Back Alley After Dark event brought in $13,000.00 for patient services at DAP Health, more than double from last year’s, and $3,000 more than the team’s goal. In its first collaboration, co-sponsoring was Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert (PSLOD), a significant fundraiser for HIV and health equity in the Coachella Valley. PSLOD will also host Palm Springs Leather Pride Weekend, from October 28-31.

Event organizers and partners say After Dark’s healthy turnout is a sign that people are feeling safer and eager to re-connect with others.

“These sales numbers are unheard of,” says Revivals volunteer Mark Musin.

Eager for the hunt, 278 shoppers didn’t mind queuing up at the Palm Springs Revivals for almost three hours before doors opened at 6 p.m. More than 700 shoppers had made purchases by closing time.

Very little was left after two hours and more than 1,000 clothing items, including leather jackets, chaps, vests, and hats were scooped up.

It was easy for shoppers to fill containers with leather and other treasures after finding them neatly displayed on racks by friendly volunteers who offered sizing and selection advice. This included an impressive amount of revamped and shiny leather shoes and boots.

Check-out lines never stopped moving, and volunteers engaged customers to collect hangers and help guide them as they finished.

Volunteers Make the Difference

After Dark brought together 30 volunteers from all four Revivals stores, ten more compared to last year.

“We all like working together so much,” says Mark. “It was a wonderful opportunity for volunteers to see each other and even for some to meet for the first time.”

When Mark saw volunteers from other Revivals locations working so naturally with the Palm Springs team to straighten and restock items, plus help customers, he knew it was all worth the effort.

“It’s about the community they love to serve, and it’s the camaraderie they share,” he says. “It had them all joining in, and they did a great job!”

Saving Best Inventory for Back Alley Event

Leather themed clothing and gear is always costly, and many find exploring the subculture intimidating.  But at Revivals, shoppers were able to pick up leather chaps for $20 used, instead of $400 new. Leather jackets were plentiful and started at $10 instead of $500 new.

Harnesses, suspenders, and belts sold out in the first ten minutes.

Special toys for grownups, gay literature and nude magazines, movies,  and framed art that need new homes wind up at Revivals year-round. Saving them for an appropriate and safe venue like After Dark means that these items can be re-used, and members of this community continue to enjoy great care from DAP Health. 

The idea for Back Alley After Dark was born over three years ago as Revivals Stores took a stand on recycling and decided that tossing donations that were considered too racy was not an option. And the more Revivals talked to the community it serves, the more it learned this gently used merchandise is in demand in a valley where economic disparities abound.

“We live in a desert mirage of two valleys,” says Steven Henke, director of brand marketing at DAP Health and in charge of marketing and communications for Revivals. “There are lucky folks with great jobs, who can afford to buy new leather gear and brand new anything they want, and there are other folks who need to find things on a budget.”

With Revivals After Dark, anyone who wants to be part of the leather community or even just buy the look can find truly affordable deals, he says.

“That is so on-brand for DAP Health, because we are all about inclusivity, collaboration, and bringing folks together in a positive way,” Steven says.

Health remains the driving motivation for this event, with proceeds funding comprehensive medical care at DAP Health, including through Desert AIDS Walk, and a donation to PSLOD.

“We are so grateful for this collaboration with Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert,” says Steven. “We can’t wait to see what the future holds through partnering.”

More freedom this year to socialize

Thanks to vaccinations, masks, and a public eager to experience our Southern California fall, outdoor events like Desert AIDS Walk 2021 and Palm Springs Gay Pride 2021 will return to being “peopled” for the first time since the pandemic began.

And for largely indoor events like Palm Springs Leather Pride, safety protocols ensure everyone in attendance can enjoy and explore without forfeiting safety.

This is good news for a very in-person community beginning its social season. After more than 18 months of avoiding crowds, people want to see each other again.

“It’s becoming so nice to approach people whom I haven’t seen since the pandemic started, simply to say, ‘I’m happy you’re here still here’,” says Dan Smith, co-chair of Leather Pride Weekend.

Charitable PSLOD Helps Members Honor True Selves

Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert has raised and donated over $250,000.000 for HIV services and health equity in the Coachella Valley in its almost 30-year history. The organization is honoring more diversity within the LGBTQ population here, and Dan Smith, co-chair of Leather Pride Weekend, is ready.

“We’re really looking forward to re-inventing the club, including making it a place for everyone,” Dan says.

More inclusion for PSLOD means welcoming more people of color, more women, and more transgender folks as new members. It also means challenging longstanding assumptions about what it means to be “leather”.

According to Dan, if it isn’t about pursuing your own authenticity, it’s time to challenge your perception.

“There’s this idea that a leather person has to be male, macho, hairy, have a beard, and be gruff—the whole hyper masculine image,” he says.

The truth is that there is room for everyone, no matter what they look like, he says.

“I just want people to be who they are, and we all struggle with that.”

PSLOD is experiencing a surge itself with 12 new members joining in the last two months and counting.

“I don’t want anyone prevented from exploring the leather community,” Dan says. One of his trusted methods for helping first timers feel OK exploring new things is simple; be friendly. 

“I would rather step up our hospitality, rather than have someone come to an event and experience no one talking to them,” Dan says. “People are starving for some type of connection.”

Find out more about Palm Spring Leather Order of the Desert (PSLOD) and Palm Springs Leather Pride Weekend [October 28-31, 2021] here.

About Revivals

The very first Revivals store was opened in 1995, in a back corner of the Desert AIDS Project office on Vella Road. Since those earliest days, the funds raised through selling donated goods at Revivals has gone back to support comprehensive care at DAP Health, while also providing a great volunteer opportunity for those who wanted to support the organization with their time and retail talents. Today, all of the stores are largely volunteer-run, enabling Revivals to make a significant financial contribution to the annual budget of DAP Health.

About DAP Health

DAP Health (DAP) is an advocacy-based health center in Palm Springs, CA serving over 10,000 patients, offering medical and mental healthcare, STI testing and treatment, dentistry, pharmacy, and lab. A variety of wraparound services enable patients to experience optimal health, including social services, support groups, alternative therapies, and other wellness services. Excellent HIV care is provided by the largest team of specialized clinicians in the area.  Click here to read more about our commitment to health equity.     

DAP opened one of California’s first COVID clinics and hotlines to offer screening, testing, and treatment. DAP is also working to address social determinants of health that are causing negative health outcomes during this pandemic, like food and housing insecurity, joblessness, isolation, and access to ongoing healthcare. 

DAP’s sexual health clinic offers STI testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and HCV testing. DAP has earned Charity Navigator’s highest rating for the twelfth consecutive year – landing DAP in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that DAP exceeds industry standards in terms of financial health, accountability, and transparency.     

Visit www.daphealth.org to learn more.     

Coachella Valley Housing Coalition Secur …

Coachella Valley Housing Coalition Secures Funding for Special Needs Housing Development on DAP Health Campus

October  6, 2021 (Indio, CA) – The Coachella Valley Housing Coalition (CVHC) in partnership with  DAP Health, announced today the successful award of $10,809,380 in federal tax credits and $8,107,033 in State tax credits from the California Debit Limit Allocation Committee and the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee. The successful award of financing is needed to begin construction of the 61-unit special needs affordable housing development known as Vista Sunrise II.  The Vista Sunrise II development will be constructed on the DAP Health campus at Sunrise and Vista Chino in Palm Springs.  This new development consists of studios and one-bedroom units for individuals and families who experience chronical illnesses, physical or mental disabilities, or those who are homeless.

The award comes just weeks after the announcement by the Riverside University Health System-Behavioral Health (RUHS-BH) that the development would be awarded $6,769,577 in No Place Like Home Funds (NPLH). One million dollars of this award was allocated directly through the NPLH Riverside County allocation for RUHS-BH, the remaining funds were awarded through a competitive state application where the project was one of the highest scoring applications in this funding round. In late June, the Federal Home Loan Bank announced that the project was awarded $900,000 in Affordable Housing Program funds. Earlier this year the City of Palm Springs committed $3,600,000 in Housing Homeless Assistance and Prevention (HHAP) funds along with a 100% reduction in development impact fees. 

Vista Sunrise II was also awarded 35 project-based section 8 vouchers from the Housing Authority of the County of Riverside; the award of these vouchers will allow individuals who might otherwise not have any resources to pay rent, even at rates which are lower than fair market rents, to obtain an apartment. The Vista Sunrise II development will cost just over $30M to construct and would not be possible without the collaboration of numerous funding sources and the partnerships of CVHC and DAP.

The City of Palm Springs is making major efforts to address the housing crisis as well as the mental and physical health disparities that are often linked to inadequate housing. Partnerships with the CVHC (the largest provider of affordable housing in the Inland Empire) and DAP Health (a premier Federal Qualified Health Center serving over 10,000 patients annually) are perfect as it relates to reducing homelessness and increasing decent and safe housing. Residents of the development will live only steps away from many of the critical services they need on the campus of DAP Health. In conjunction with RUHS-BH, DAP will provide wrap-around supportive services for residents and their families.

This project benefits the community in multiple ways beyond providing affordable housing. It also:

  • Brings jobs to the community: the project provides prevailing wage construction jobs to locals
  • Energy Efficient: This community also meets energy standards through the Energy Star Program, Build It® Green—Green Point Rated Program and Green Property Management. It will also offer the same energy-efficient standards through its refrigerators, dishwashers, stoves/ovens, and other appliances.
  • Outdoor recreation: A dog park and green space which will offer seating for Vista Sunrise II residents, Vista Sunrise I residents, and DAP Health staff and visitors will be constructed as part of the development.
  • Computer Center: All residents will have access to the computer center located in the community room.
  • Demonstration Kitchen: Residents will learn to prepare healthy meals through free classes and workshops offered at the demonstration kitchen located within the community room.

 “For our community to achieve health equity, affordable housing must be a part of the healthcare continuum.  Partnering with CVHC allows us to strengthen the housing stability safety net for residents in Palm Springs.  We are fortunate to have a strong and like-minded partner in CVHC,” says David Brinkman, CEO of DAP Health.  

“It takes a village to be able to build high quality affordable housing development for a well-deserved special needs population.  CVHC is extremely grateful to all the funding agencies that are financially supporting this much needed development in the city of Palm Springs.  Thank you to DAP Health for choosing to partner with CVHC to develop this much needed affordable housing project and to provide supportive services to the residents. We look forward to begin construction of this development in the coming months” says Pedro S. G. Rodriguez, Interim Executive Director of CVHC.

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Coachella Valley Housing Coalition (CVHC) is a nonprofit community development corporation serving farmworkers, veterans, families, seniors, and other low-income residents.  Founded in 1982, CVHC's mission is to improve low-income individuals and families' living conditions by constructing and operating affordable housing infused with community services programs and other opportunities that enrich, build, and grow their lives. 

For more than 39 years, CVHC has been providing affordable housing and community development programs to hundreds of individuals and families.  To date, CVHC has developed close to 5,000 homes and apartments throughout Riverside and Imperial counties. In addition, CVHC provides its residents access to a variety of programs, including early childhood education centers, after-school and recreational programming, medical clinics, cultural music, art and dance classes, computer technology instruction, STEM-blended Lego Robotics, an Alternative High School and GED Diploma program, Financial Literacy, English as a Second Language courses, homeownership counseling and other opportunities that improve their lives and livelihoods.  For more information, please visit www.cvhc.org.

DAP Health (DAP) is an advocacy-based health center in Palm Springs, CA serving over  10,000 patients, offering medical and mental healthcare, STI testing and treatment, dentistry, pharmacy, and lab. A variety of wraparound services enable patients to experience optimal health, including social services, support groups, alternative therapies, and other wellness services. Excellent HIV care is provided by the largest team of specialized clinicians in the area.     

DAP opened one of California’s first COVID clinics and hotlines to offer screening, testing, and treatment. DAP is also working to address social determinants of health that are causing negative health outcomes during this pandemic, like food and housing insecurity, joblessness, isolation, and access to ongoing healthcare. 

DAP’s sexual health clinic offers STI testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and HCV testing.

DAP has earned Charity Navigator’s highest rating for the twelfth consecutive year – landing DAP in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that DAP exceeds industry standards in terms of financial health, accountability, and transparency.  

Transgender Night of Empowerment Strengt …

Transgender Night of Empowerment Strengthened Community Bonds

By Leighton Ginn

The Transgender Night of Empowerment held Sept. 13 at Oscar’s in Downtown Palm Springs was a night defined by enlightening conversation and community connection.  

Organized with TransPower Project and Oscar’s Palm Springs,  the night featured three charismatic panelists who shared their stories of going from abandonment into empowerment by finding loving and supporting communities that accept them.

Jazzmun Nichcala Crayton said she hopes events like the Transgender Night of Empowerment will help facilitate discussions and education. 

Crayton, who says her pronoun is “gender fierce,” hopes that the conversations lead to greater acceptance. She says, “I’ve seen change with my own eyes,” 

Crayton was part of the three-person panel that discussed challenges faced by transgender individuals.

Jacob Rostovsky, the CEO and founder of the TransPower Project, said he was humiliated while he was in urgent care for an ear issue. Upon reading he was transgender, they began asking about his genitals.

“I was so shamed because that was all he could see of me,” Rostovsky said. “Many feel vulnerable because providers don’t see us.

“Aren’t they all supposed to do no harm?”  

Rostovsky left urgent care without treatment, resulting in a worsening ear infection. He canceled other appointments because he feared how he would be treated.  

But Rostovsky said his life has changed for the better. He’s engaged with plans to be married soon.

“When I was younger, I thought I would be dead before I was 15, 16. I never thought anyone in my entire life would love me in a romantic way. I never thought I would find love or be valued, especially as a gay man,” said Rostoveky, who shared the news of his engagement.  “I felt true love so I’m getting married. I continue to celebrate my authenticity as a Trans gay male every single day that I wake up and every single day I go to sleep because he’s there to remind me.”

Fernanda Quiroz, a patient at DAP Health, said when she came out, she was abandoned by her family, members who said they would stick by her through anything.

But thanks to DAP Health, and particularly moderator Michael Malfavon, she feels like she’s home when she goes into the clinic.

Explaining the importance of collaboration, Rostovsky said is grateful to DAP Health for partnering with TransPower Project on events that bring the transgender community together.

“Having community is immensely important,” Rostovsky said. “We’re a new organization and it means a lot to us when a big organization like DAP Health welcomes us with open arms.

The 2021 Desert AIDS Walk returns to Ruth Hardy Park!

Our community’s largest gathering of HIV advocates comes together on Saturday, October 30, 2021, to walk toward ending the HIV and AIDS epidemics in the Coachella Valley. The 2021 Desert AIDS Walk, presented by Desert Care Network, will be an in-person event beginning at Ruth Hardy Park and following a route through downtown Palm Springs. This family and pet-friendly event includes a Health and Wellness Festival presented by Walgreens. Register today at www.desertaidswalk.org.

Community Comes Together, Provides Inspi …

Community Comes Together, Provides Inspiration at 2021 Aging Positively – Reunion Project

By Leighton Ginn

When the top organizations in the area got together for the Aging Positively – Reunion Project Conference on September 19, it sent a powerful and inspiring message.

The event was  aimed at providing information and inspiration for those aging with HIV. The event showcased community leaders who provide services to improve the quality of life for those older adults living with HIV.

Attendee David Parry felt  the conference was uplifting after what he experienced in the early days of the crisis.

“I lost many, many friends, too many friends to count, in the late 80s and early 90s,” said Parry, a Rancho Mirage resident. “Now today, people aren’t just surviving with AIDS, but truly living full lives. It’s an amazing recovery story. … To have the emphasis on living full lives and the resources available to us to make that possible is really empowering.”

This year’s event was headlined by Andy Bell, the lead singer of the pop group “Erasure,” and Karl Schmid, co-creator of +Life Media and ABC7 Los Angeles contributor.  

Jeff Taylor, the executive director of the HIV+ and Aging Research Project in Palm Springs, interviewed Schmid. He said having both Schmid and Bell sent a positive message. When they came out as HIV positive, they didn’t suffer as bad a backlash as feared and were embraced.

But an even more powerful message was having eight local organizations come together to provide an event that attracted a record 274 registered guests. There were attendees from all over the country as well as Thailand.

“I was pleasantly surprised at how well the virtual format worked and how well people responded to it,” Taylor said. “It’s really great to see that group come together. We’ve been collaborating for about four years now and it just gets better and better each year. It’s a delight to work with these people.”

There was a wide array of topics covered, such as research updates, which featured DAP Health’s Research Coordinator Greg Jackson and caregiving. But the event went deeper with other topics such as meditation, an end-of-life doula, sustaining and making new friends later in life, and HIV in the media.

"It was an energizing experience for our team at DAP Health to collaborate alongside other local organizations committed to supporting community members living and aging with HIV. We were all grateful for the opportunity to connect around a shared vision for this event and for the leadership of its committee members," said Steven Henke, Director of Brand Marketing at DAP Health.

Bell spoke about his career in Erasure, which produced the pop hits “A Little Respect,” “Chains of Love,” and “Oh L’Amour.” Bell’s session, which ended the conference, had a memorable moment when Parry got on the line. Parry was an accountant for one of Erasure’s tours, and Bell remembered him as being a “hunk” and wearing bicycle shorts.

“I was shocked he even remembered my name. I was really touched, and a little embarrassed he referred to me as a hunk, ” said Parry, the Senior Director, Executive and Internal Communications for Blue Shield of California. 

“Whatever short shorts I had on at the time, I’m sure they were much longer than what he was wearing.”

Taylor said the committee, inspired by the success of the 2021 version of the conference, is already planning next year’s conference, which they hope can be in person. Even so, Taylor said he would like to see a hybrid conference to maintain the virtual element to extend their reach beyond the Coachella Valley. He likes the idea that the conference could be available to people in the Midwest and South, where they don’t have the kind of resources the Coachella Valley does.

“People reach out to me to see and ask, ‘How can we make it happen here?’” Taylor said. “We forget how fortunate we are here, so to make it available to people elsewhere who don’t have it, and make it a springboard to capacity building for them is really exciting.”

How is DAP Health caring for people living and aging with HIV? Dr. Tulika Singh, Director of Research, Associate-Chief Medical Officer, explains.

Help us continue to provide compassionate health care by registering now for the 2021 Desert AIDS Walk at www.DESERTAIDSWALK.org.