Philadelphia Breaks Ground on Gay & Lesbian Senior Center

U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, Union boss John Dougherty, PGN Publisher Mark Segal, Mayor Michael Nutter, & City Councilman Mark Squilla. Image by Patrick Hagerty for GPTMC

It’s an often un-talked about question for many people, both gay and straight: what’s going to happen to us when we get old? While most of us hope to spend our golden years with a lifelong partner and stay happy and healthy, the reality is sometimes different. For those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, retirement/nursing homes present a whole new set of problems. The baby-boom generation is beginning to retire—the first generation to really be able to live openly as LGBT—and by 2030 there is estimated to be 4 million LGBT retirees. Many are worried that a retirement will push them right back into the closet. Luckily, organizations are creating LGBT–specific senior housing projects. “Our community has been focused for years on other issues, like AIDS/HIV, marriage equality and bullying,” says Mark Segal,  founder of the Philadelphia Gay News. “But we’ve never developed a system for LGBT seniors, especially those who are low income and are very endangered.”

This week, Segal helped break ground on an LGBT-senior, low-income housing project in the heart of Philly’s gayborhood. The complex will be six floors with 56 one-bedroom units. Luckily for many who will rely on social security, it will be affordable. Rents will range from $165 to $785 per month—depending on income. [Returers]

 

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