17:23, June 05 125 0

2017-06-05 17:23:06


San Francisco leads the way in integrated LGBT senior housing & services

Like many LGBT residents of San Francisco, Marcy Adelman moved to the city in the 1970s to live an out life in a welcoming community.

“I had an epiphany one day,” she says. “I was standing in line at the Castro Theatre, and I looked up and down the line and I saw all these people my age looking beautiful in the Castro on a sunny day, and I thought, where are our elders?”

As the local LGBT population aged, the city that once welcomed them with open arms became too expensive to love back. LGBT elders were forced to leave San Francisco. Many who stayed struggled to find affordable housing where they felt safe and welcome. Many felt they were being forced back in the closet.

Adelman’s concern led her to found Openhouse 18 years ago, with the vision of providing housing and services to LGBT seniors. For nearly two decades, Openhouse has offered housing workshops, support groups, social events, and community in San Francisco.

It took nearly 20 years for Adelman’s original vision of integrated housing and services to become reality, with the opening of San Francisco’s first LGBT-welcoming affordable housing complex for seniors. The Openhouse Community at 55 Laguna Street features 40 affordable apartments developed in partnership with Mercy Housing California, with an additional building at 95 Laguna. They’re adding a further 79 homes in the fall of 2017, creating one of the largest LGBT senior communities in the country.

“Last year alone Openhouse supported over 2500 San Francisco Bay Area LGBT seniors between our programs, services and housing, with over 93% reporting a positive impact on their health and well-being.“ said Openhouse Executive Director Karyn Skultety. “But our work is far from done, with many of San Francisco’s estimated 25,000 LGBT seniors fearing discrimination and compromised care in their struggle to find quality housing and services”

Learn more about Openhouse at www.openhouse-sf.org

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