Angel Baten

As someone who’s recovering from past substance
use, it’s been difficult not being able to go to my
support group meetings. I’ve been sober for a year
and a half now and I intend to work very hard not to
let COVID-19’s impact get in the way of my recovery.
That’s not to say it hasn’t been a struggle. Even
though I’m able to attend my meetings online, it
simply doesn’t achieve the same emotional support
as an in-person interaction would. I enjoyed getting to
know the people in my recovery meetings, being able
to hug them after a particularly difficult session and
bask in our togetherness.

I’m grateful to still be able to talk to my therapist
at Larkin Street through the phone and still receive
support from my case manager whenever I need
them. I’m continuing to do my public speaking
classes online through CCSF which is also tough
given that it requires in-person experience to
effectively learn the material. I haven’t been able to
do any drag shows which was a special way for me to
express myself and build self-esteem. Unlike some of
my peers, I’m fortunate to be able to keep my job at
Community Housing Partnership. Through all this, I’m
learning how to be patient and understanding even
as I struggle with these changes that the pandemic
has brought.

Chibuenyi Griffith

I was looking forward to visiting New York City in May
in hopes of someday moving there but because of
the COVID-19 outbreak, I’ve had to cancel my plans.
As a HR Specialist at Salesforce, I’m able to work
from home while also continuing to take a class
through Arizona State University’s online program.
Even though it’s sometimes difficult to find a quiet
workspace in the house, I consider myself lucky since
I don’t have to worry about not having a safe place to
sleep during this pandemic.

The COVID-19 outbreak has created so much panic
everywhere and it’s hard not to wonder what the next
few months will bring for me. My two-year contract
with my housing at Larkin Street is going to end in
June which means I will need to find a new place
soon. I’m currently working with my case manager
to find new housing in the east bay but that’s been
difficult since I haven’t been able to meet with
potential landlords in person let alone check out
potential accommodations. I can only hope that this
doesn’t hinder my impending move.

It’s been a challenging experience learning to adapt
to these changes but I’m staying at home and taking
these necessary precautions to protect myself and
others. I’m very much looking forward to seeing my
friends and coworkers again.