Project Aging

Issue Background

Recently, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force released “Outing Age 2010,” a report about the growing number of aging Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) individuals in the United States. Their report estimates that about three million Americans over the age of 65 are LGBT, a figure likely to double by 2030. Many more may not be counted because they are “invisible” and have a fear of identifying themselves as LGBT because of past experiences with discrimination. Reports also indicate that some LGBT elders may not seek medical care due to past encounters with bias or even may have been refused medical treatment because of their sexual identity. A 2001 study by Funders for LGBTQ Issues found that 75% of LGBT seniors interviewed reported not being completely open about their sexual orientation to health care workers. Besides facing medical-related barriers, some LGBT elders are also processing insurance, tax and legal matters that can sometimes be complicated because of their LGBT identity. And, although there has been work to educate service providers, still some often lack cultural sensitivity training for staff on how to address the unique needs of LGBT elders.

Using a community-based research approach, Cream City Foundation will work with a variety of Milwaukee-area organizations – including, but not limited to – agencies dedicated to serving elders, agencies that serve the LGBT community, various members and denominations of the faith community, agencies that have contact with this population and representatives from the Department on Aging to assess the current and projected demographics of LGBT elders in Milwaukee as well as the needs and any possible gaps in service this population may face.

Cream City Foundation model follows the similar strategy used for the LGBT Youth Homelessness Initiative. This includes a process of identifying key stakeholders and holding regular convenings to gather background information on the issue and develop a theory of change (aka road map for success) that identifies key strategies and specific outcomes needed to create the needed change/impact.  The process helps identify and build organic collaboration amongst participants that creates economies of scale and scope and provides a leveraging tool for future philanthropic investment.

Why Aging? Listen to our previous Executive Director explain
(Part of RadioMilwaukee‘s Meet the Need)

Community Partners

  • Black Health Coalition of Wisconsin
  • Center on Age and Community, UW-Milwaukee
  •  Interfaith Older Adult Program
  •  Jewish Family Services
  •  LGBT Center of Southeastern    Wisconsin
  • Milwaukee Aging Consortium
  • Milwaukee County Department on Aging/Milwaukee Area Agency on Aging
  • Milwaukee LGBT Community Center
  • Proyecto Salud
  • Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders (SAGE)/Milwaukee
  • Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders (SAGE) USA
  • United Community Center
  • Sixteenth Street Community Health Clinic

Funding Provided by:
Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Cletus and Olive Carey Fund

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