Jun 27Pride and Mercy
As Pride Month wraps up, Mercy Housing would like to thank everyone that has made this such a special time of year. We enjoyed the month of celebration, education, and awareness. To truly foster positive change with access to fair and safe housing we must continue these efforts all year. Partnerships are invaluable in this endeavor. We appreciate our partner organizations deeply, value their insight, and enjoy learning from them.
A truly special partner in providing fair and safe housing to LGBT seniors is Openhouse. They support San Francisco Bay Area LGBT seniors to overcome the unique challenges they face. Mercy Housing California and Openhouse partnered to develop Openhouse Community at 55 Laguna, the first LGBT affordable housing for seniors in San Francisco. The city has roughly 25,000 LGBT seniors. Even in San Francisco, senior LGBT community members have experienced harassment and feelings of alienation while trying to find housing.
“Decades ago, a property like this was seen as a dream, but persistence convinced the city that LGBT housing for seniors would benefit everyone in the community. The fact that it’s located at the end of the Castro District is significant because that’s a crossroads of many neighborhoods. It’s important that these homes offer residents a place to interact and be a part of the city and not segregated from it,” says Karyn Skultety, PhD, Executive Director of Openhouse.
55 Laguna Resident Services:
• Art Classes
• Community Engagement
• Interest groups
• Language classes
• Senior Prom
• Support and wellness classes
• Resources and referral services
• Case management
Ron is a resident of Openhouse Community at 55 Laguna and leads art classes. He’s designed artwork for the property, as well as some of the original pride parade floats. He is an influential artist at the property and community as a whole. Residents and staff enjoy connecting with the city, neighborhood, and larger LGBT community in San Francisco and beyond. They’re looking to the future to offer more community events in hopes of bringing in more members of the community to enjoy and participate with Openhouse Community at 55 Laguna.
• HUD’s Ending Housing Discrimination statement
• Federal Fair Housing Law Protects LGBT Couples, Court Rules for First Time (The Washington Post)
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