The LGBT Older Adult Coalition is pleased to announce that the HOPE Fund has awarded $50,000 to the coalition for 2014. A significant portion of the grant will provide support for a cutting-edge collaborative formed between the LGBT Older Adult Coalition and all three Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) serving the Metro Detroit Region. AAA’s receive more than 100,000 calls each year for referrals from older adults and their caregivers. The collaborative projects strives to 1) develop cultural competency among all call operators at each of the three agencies; 2) provide solid referrals for operators to give for LGBT-friendly resources; and 3) provide support to evolve the non-discrimination policies at each agency to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The collaborative was formed over the summer of 2013 and the funding award provides the resources to jump start the project. This is the only collaborative of its nature in the country and was formed to tap into existing aging resources to meet the needs of LGBT elders in Southeast Michigan. Out-going LGBT Older Adult Coalition Co-Chair, Kathleen LaTosch, will serve as Project Director beginning in January.
A portion of the HOPE fund grant will also continue to support the general operations of the LGBT Older Adult Coalition, including funding for the part-time coordinator, support for LGBT elder services offered through Gay Elders of Southeast Michigan and the Detroit Elders Project, and support for the Annual LGBT Older Adult Summit.
In addition to grant news, the LGBT Older Adult Coalition is pleased to announce the release of the new Southeast Michigan Rainbow Resources Guide for Older Adults. The guide provides a host of LGBT-friendly referrals for older adults for everything from electricians to home chore service providers. The guide was released January 14, 2014 and is now available at the website.