One of the many programs JFS has to offer is Lunch Bunch groups, which combine lunch, outreach, socialization, and education. From a Widows’ group to a Gay Men’s group, each provides a space for connection and support. The Gay Men’s Lunch Bunch offers gay members of our community a chance to actively support one another through different life challenges and stages.
One of the biggest protective factors for the LGBTQ+ community is social support. Lucas joined the group for gay men a year and a half ago at the recommendation of his counselor at JFS and JFS Care Coordinator, Hindy Friedman. “Hindy thought this close-knit group of gay men might just be the ticket for me. It turns out she was correct!”
Although the group was ultimately a great fit, Lucas’ struggles with depression and social anxiety left him nervous for his first meeting — the group was “exactly what [he] hated about going out: meeting new people and having to engage with them.” However, the group’s welcoming nature eased him into the experience and provided a gentle re-introduction to the socialization he had been missing.
While the Lunch Bunch experience has been adjusted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Lucas, the virtual meetings haven’t taken away from the valuable connections made through the group. “After the second Zoom meeting, it seemed normal again. Everyone was very engaged and speaking up, being heard and listened to,” he said. “I look forward to it every month … especially when we can gather in person again.”
- Gay Men's Group
- Widows’ Group
- Doctors' Group
- Professional Men's Group
- Professional, multi-generational (20s - 70+) lesbian women's group
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