Two senior-focused California organizations are merging in an effort to more efficiently meet the growing demand for affordable housing and social services for LGBT seniors.
Affordable senior housing developer Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing is merging its development program into the operations of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, which provides programs and services for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) people and operates a senior services program that serves more than 1,400 seniors a month.
The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s senior-focused services, including case management, health and wellness activities, and support groups, are the organization’s fastest growing program, it says.
“We founded GLEH to address the tremendous, unmet demand for affordable housing for low-income LGBT seniors,” said GLEH Board of Directors President Ara Babaian in a statement. “Developing more affordable housing units while continuing to provide high-quality services for our residents has always been our top priority, and we can do that even better, faster and more efficiently by partnering with the Center and its fantastic Senior Services program.”
GLEH operates a 104-unit low-income LGBT senior community in Hollywood called Triangle Square. The organization is also collaborating with AMCAL Multi-Housing Inc. on a new affordable housing development, The Argyle, in Hollywood. Some of the community’s 39 units will be reserved for LGBT seniors.
“The need for affordable housing and services for LGBT seniors has never been greater, and by joining forces with GLEH, we’ll help even more seniors live healthy, happy and fulfilled lives,” said L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center CEO Lorri L. Jean. “All of us at the Center are excited to build on GLEH’s legacy of groundbreaking achievements.”
By merging GLEH’s operations into a new Center program, the combined entity will be able to provide a broader range of integrated services for residents and will direct a “substantially greater investment” into developing affordable LGBT senior housing.
The merger is also expected to produce “significant” administrative efficiencies and financial savings by eliminating infrastructure redundancies, the organizations said. GLEH staff will join the Center’s senior services team, and several members of GLEH’s board will join the Center’s board.
“We have long admired the pioneering work of GLEH and are very excited to partner with the organization to better achieve our common goal of caring for the growing number of LGBT seniors,” said L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Board of Directors Co-Chairs Dr. Marki Knox and David Bailey. “Together we’ll be so much stronger.”
Written by Alyssa Gerace