The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded a three-year, $900,000 grant to Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Elders (SAGE) to create the first national resource center on LGBT aging.
According to a news release from SAGE, the grant from HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the Administration on Aging will be used to fund the National Technical Assistance Resource Center for LGBT elders, which "will assist communities across the country in their efforts to provide services and supports for older LGBT people. The Resource Center will provide training to aging service providers and LGBT agencies nationwide, and will offer critically important educational tools to LGBT older people."
The resource center, which was announced with preliminary details in October, attests to the Obama administration's commitment to the vulnerable population of LGBT elders, according to the news release.
"AoA frequently turns to national organizations to support the Aging Network in their efforts to work with specific minority populations that are traditionally underserved," said Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee. "In the past, AoA has funded national organizations to provide technical assistance on providing supports and services to African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian and Pacific Islander Americans and Native Americans. With the full support of the current administration, we now recognize that LGBT older adults also represent a community with unique needs that must be addressed."
According to HHS, as many as 1.5 million to 4 million LGBT individuals are age 60 and older, and many agencies that serve elders may be unfamiliar with their specific needs.