LGBT WISE: Working to Improve Services to Elders

Like our mainstream counterparts, the LGBT community is experiencing the increasing impact of an aging population. However, existing programs and services appropriate for LGBT elders have nowhere near the capacity required to meet a burgeoning need.

To begin addressing this, Horizons Foundation, in partnership with The California Wellness Foundation, created a program called LGBT WISE: Working to Improve Services to Elders. LGBT WISE has three central goals:

  • Improve access and services that support and improve the lives of LGBT elders
  • Build regional capacity to meet the needs of LGBT elders
  • Strengthen LGBT organizations to promote healthy aging among LGBT elders in Bay Area counties

Programs and services eligible for funding include those improving food and nutrition, access to health care, in-home support, and emotional/social support for elders. In addition to receiving funding and technical assistance, the LGBT WISE grantees also meet regularly to foster peer learning and create practical connections among different regions in the Bay Area.

2010 LGBT WISE Grants

Total Awarded: $60,000

Funded by a grant from The California Wellness Foundation

2009 LGBT WISE Grants

Total Awarded: $113,744

Funded by a grant from The California Wellness Foundation

2008 LGBT WISE Grants

Total Awarded: $154,905

Funded by a grant from The California Wellness Foundation

2007 LGBT WISE Grants

Total Awarded: $150,000

Funded by a grant from The California Wellness Foundation

  • Billy DeFrank LGBT Center (San Jose) – $40,000 to expand the Vintage Program and developing stronger working relationships with non-LGBT organizations. Activities in the Vintage Program include free luncheons, health lectures, an over-50 men’s peer support group, aerobic and walking classes, legal workshops, game nights, educational workshops, and a memoir writing class.
  • Lavender Seniors of the East Bay (San Leandro) – $35,000 to increase the hours of Lavender Seniors’ care coordinator; expand the Elder-Friendly Emblem Project (which screens providers for being LGBT-friendly); and expand its technological capabilities in order to better track and serve clients.
  • New Leaf: Services For Our Community (San Francisco) – $40,000 to support and increase New Leaf’s extensive existing services through its Outreach to Elders. Programs include mental health and substance abuse services, counseling, support groups, free lunches, monthly events for elders at Laguna Honda Hospital, and friendly-visitor and other programs for housebound clients.
  • Spectrum Center for LGBT Concerns (San Anselmo) – $35,000 to restore a part-time Senior Program Coordinator and expand the elder programs, including mental health support services, at-home visits, social activities, referral, and training for volunteers to do outreach to elders.

2006 LGBT WISE Grants

Total Awarded: $150,000

Funded by a grant from The California Wellness Foundation

  • Billy DeFrank LGBT Center (San Jose) – $40,000 to expand the Vintage Program and developing stronger working relationships with non-LGBT organizations. Activities in the Vintage Program include free luncheons, health lectures, an over-50 men’s peer support group, aerobic and walking classes, legal workshops, game nights, educational workshops, and a memoir writing class.
  • Lavender Seniors of the East Bay (San Leandro) – $35,000 to increase the hours of Lavender Seniors’ care coordinator; expand the Elder-Friendly Emblem Project (which screens providers for being LGBT-friendly); and expand its technological capabilities in order to better track and serve clients.
  • New Leaf: Services For Our Community (San Francisco) – $40,000 to support and increase New Leaf’s extensive existing services through its Outreach to Elders. Programs include mental health and substance abuse services, counseling, support groups, free lunches, monthly events for elders at Laguna Honda Hospital, and friendly-visitor and other programs for housebound clients.
  • Spectrum Center for LGBT Concerns (San Anselmo) – $35,000 to restore a part-time Senior Program Coordinator and expand the elder programs, including mental health support services, at-home visits, social activities, referral, and training for volunteers to do outreach to elders.

LGBT WISE: Working to Improve Services for Elders is funded by a grant from The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF). Created in 1992 as an independent, private foundation, TCWF’s mission is to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education, and disease prevention.

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