Tomorrow, May 15th, many LGBT non-profit organizations will be participating in Razoo’s Give Out Day. It is an opportunity to reach out in a grass roots campaign to old and new supporters to raise funds online in a short period of time.
Openhouse, a non-profit organization , serving the housing, social, community and health needs of LGBT senior citizens in San Francisco is one of those groups reaching out to the public on Give Out Day. More and more attention is being drawn to this population of seniors as their numbers are growing and they face acute challenges.
From the publication AgingToday (Despite Disparities, Most LGBT Elders are Aging Well
“Yet research demonstrates that lesbian, gay and bisexual older adults are a health-disparate population with elevated levels of poor general health, physical limitations and mental distress compared with heterosexuals of similar ages. Transgender older adults have even higher rates of disability, poor physical health and depression. The Institute of Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identify the lack of attention to sexual orientation and age as critical gaps in our understanding and ability to reduce health disparities.”
Some of the several ways that Openhouse has provided to meet these challenges are regular social and community activities that range from language learning classes, to Opera Music activities , Tai Chi classes, financial management workshops, etc. There is a Friendly Visitor program to address the elderly who are shut-ins where volunteers and case workers visit them at home to provide for their needs and prevent isolation.
Openhouse is currently engaged in a partnership with Mercy Housing to build an affordable housing complex for seniors in the Castro District. It will also include all the Openhouse wrap around services located in the same facility. Groundbreaking is expected in October 2014.
Dr. Marcy Adelman , Founder of Openhouse, stated:
“As people grow older, their social networks may shrink. Heterosexuals rely on spouses and adult children to help them stay engaged and to remain as independent as possible in their own homes. But LGBT older adults who are 55 years of age or older are more likely to be single, to live alone and to have no children. Our families of choice, an important source of love and support, are often diminished as we age as dear friends move away, become frail themselves or pass on. Consequently, we are at greater risk for isolation and are less likely than heterosexual seniors to have someone to care for us as we grow older.” ( Challenges and Opportunities, Bay Times, Wednesday, May 14, 2014)
“San Francisco’s LGBT community is poised to respond to this significant increase in the senior population. The San Francisco LGBT Aging Policy Task Force, the San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult Services, LGBT senior organizations, and community leaders are working to improve the lives of LGBT seniors today and are preparing for future generations to come. Innovative services and new educational, cultural and recreational resources are now in place, or are in the development stage.” ( Challenges and Opportunities, Bay Times, Wednesday, May 14, 2014)
It is with this spirit that you are being invited to contribute $10 or $25 or the amount you can afford to Openhouse’s Give Out Day campaign on May 15th. Make your contribution online at: http://giveout.razoo.com/story/Openhouse. When you donate you are entered into to a drawing for a chance to win a great prize as a show of appreciation for your generosity.
“Your support today will help Openhouse serve and support thousands of LGBT seniors who call San Francisco home. These men and women are our pioneers. Many of them came to San Francisco at a time when we had few rights or advocates. Today, you can help them stay safe and secure as part of our caring community.” ( Openhouse Give Out Day, May 15, 2014).