June is Pride month! We are proud to announce our Welcoming LGBT Seniors at H.O.M.E. initiative.
A 2014 study found that 48 percent of same-sex couples looking for senior housing faced discrimination. When Town Hall Apartments, the only affordable LGBT senior building in Chicago, opened in 2014 they received over 400 applications for 79 units.
At H.O.M.E., we want to ensure that all residents are treated fairly and welcomed for who they are. In line with our mission and culture, creating a warm environment for and providing services that meet the needs of LGBT residents will enrich our role in providing quality, person-centered programming for low-income seniors.
Britta Larson, Senior Services Director at Center on Halsted, recently told us that most LGBT seniors in Chicago are actually being served by agencies that do not specialize in LGBT needs—or, they are not being served at all. Many are afraid to seek assistance because they anticipate unfair treatment. She is happy to hear that H.O.M.E. will be an aging provider that will serve the needs of LGBT older adults.
Many aging providers do not consider the unique needs of LGBT seniors, leaving them at risk for isolation and discrimination. Thanks to a grant from the LGBT Community Fund at The Chicago Community Trust, H.O.M.E. will provide cultural competency training to our staff, ensure that our policies and practices are inclusive, and work to create an accepting culture in our intergenerational houses.
This initiative will help H.O.M.E. to prepare a compassionate, competent staff that is equipped to meet the needs of the large and growing LGBT aging population in Chicago. Offering and promoting LGBT-inclusive services will increase the likelihood that LGBT elders will seek the services that they need without fear of discrimination or having to hide part of their identity.
Our expertise in and commitment to providing person-centered services leads to an approach of showing empathy and open-mindedness that is essential to creating a welcoming environment for LGBT individuals.
This month we celebrate the diversity of the older adult population. There are simple steps that that organizations and individuals can take to decrease discrimination and offer higher quality programs for LGBT seniors. This project will help us improve what we do best which is to help seniors live their best possible quality of life, so that they can age independently and in the community.
Learn more about our intergenerational housing program.
You can join us in celebrating Pride month by supporting our mission and programs with a gift to H.O.M.E. today!