SF LGBT Senior Activist Awarded Social Innovator Prize
A San Francisco gay rights activist has been awarded the “Purpose Prize” for her work on behalf of LGBT seniors. The Purpose Prize was created by a group called “Civic Ventures” and is given annually to ten people over 60 years old, who have become “social innovators” in their “encore cereers.”
This year, one of the recipients of a 50-thousand dollar award was Marcy Adelman, founder of LGBT senior organization “Openhouse.” Adelman says she saw a need for safe, welcoming communities for older people in the gay community.
Adelman: “When a gay person would enter a housing project, a senior housing facility, they would often go back into the closet rather than deal with the hostility and harassment that that they thought they might be met with …they were afraid of that … and often were met with.”
Ini 1998, she and her late partner Jeanette Gurevitch founded Openhouse, to advocate for affordable, LGBT-friendly senior housing – and especially to train service providers on the different needs of older gay people.
Adelman: “In the last few years, Openhouse has trained over 1500 senior service providers in cultural competency, and over 15o agencies. We work with the California Department on Aging and the Area Agencies on Aging here in California to provide training.”
Last year, Openhouse began working with San Francisco’s housing office and a private developer to build an 88-unit, affordable LGBT retirement community – slated to open in 2013.