Openhouse was founded in San Francisco in 1998 to break down the barriers preventing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) seniors from accessing housing, health, long-term care and aging-support services. Openhouse provides a range of services to accomplish these goals.

Case Management

Case management offers ongoing support to help LGBT seniors, adults with disabilities and/or caregivers to gain access to needed medical, social, educational, housing, and other services. The Openhouse case manager works with you and your support network to assess needs, develop care plans, and authorize services among providers such as medical, mental health, and transportation. The case manager may coordinate supportive services such as in-home care, meal deliveries, transportation to medical appointments, medication monitoring, and friendly visitors, all of which help to improve the quality of life for older LGBT community members. The case manager and support network may also monitor potentially dangerous situations such as risks for eviction (e.g. for non-payment of rent) or self-neglect. You may be interested in talking to our case manager if you are experiencing grief, illness, financial challenges, housing concerns, or a decline in health and wellness.

A case manager may:

  •     Help you apply for social services like In-Home Supportive Services, Meals on Wheels or Paratransit;
  •     Identify and coordinate access to support groups or individual therapy welcoming to LGBT older adults; and
  •     Identify community resources tailored to your needs.

To qualify for Openhouse case management services you must:

  •     Be a resident of San Francisco
  •     Self-identify with the LGBT community
  •     Be age 60 and above or age 18-59 with a disability
  •     Not be currently receiving case management services

Interested or have questions? Call Katie Outzen at X302 or email her.

Housing Assistance

Learn more about how to apply for affordable and low-income senior housing, by attending an Openhouse Housing Workshop. Workshops take place 3x a month and RSVP is required by calling Abby at 415.296.8995 x314. The workshop provides information about how to apply for senior housing, the lottery process, understanding waiting lists, and the screening process used by property owners. These workshops are open to all members of the community who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and age 55+.  They are designed with the intention of providing housing resources and education to LGBT older adults. Space is limited.

*If you are a service provider, please contact Abby Krumbein for more information x314.

Information and Assistance Program: Aging and Disability Resource Center

While San Francisco offers older adults an extensive array of support services to meet their needs, many LGBT seniors face significant difficulties in accessing these community resources. Openhouse provides critical assistance to LGBT older adults in identifying their service needs and linking them to appropriate agencies or Openhouse services. Openhouse staff can provide basic information and referral to social service providers that meet a consumer’s needs as identified in a phone call or meeting. For those with more urgent and complex needs, Openhouse staff work with individual seniors to provide (or coordinate with partner agencies to provide) socialization activities, a friendly visitor, employment counseling, benefits assistance, in-home care, mental health support, and other community-based services.

Please call Manuel Martinez at 415.296.8995 x313 or email him for more information or to set up an appointment.

Caring Connections: The Friendly Visitor Program of Openhouse

Through the Caring Connections program, Openhouse matches a screened and trained volunteer with an LGBT older community member to provide ongoing companionship and emotional support. With support from Openhouse staff, friendly visitors help link older adults with community resources and help them through particular challenges.  The program is designed for LGBT older adults who would like someone to talk to, connect with through shared interests, for companionship, or to just remain active while connecting with LGBT community.  Friendly visitor volunteers make a difference by sharing a bit of their time and themselves. They are people of all ages who can visit a senior at least twice per month and can commit to a year of service.

Interested in getting involved? Complete an online Caring Connections volunteer application HERE. *NOTE: You will need to download the application to your computer first to complete electronically. Save it and send it right back to Openhouse HERE. Voila! Openhouse staff will be in touch within 1 week about your application.

Click here for more information about Caring Connections. You can also call Sylvia Vargas, Friendly Visitor Program Manager at 415-659-8123 or email her to learn more about participating in the program or becoming a volunteer.

Openhouse Trainings

The Openhouse Cultural Sensitivity Training and Technical Assistance program effectively empowers agencies that serve seniors to break down the barriers LGBT seniors face in accessing housing and services. The program is a critical component to Openhouse’s mission to create physical, emotional and economic stability for LGBT seniors who receive services across the greater housing and senior-services sector. Openhouse has developed From Isolation to Inclusion: Reaching and Serving LGBT Seniors, a widely acclaimed, comprehensive curriculum, toolkit and DVD to help housing and social service agencies better understand LGBT aging issues and implement best practices to become LGBT-welcoming and affirming.

Click here for more information. You can also call Michelle Alcedo at 415.296.8995 x306 or email her to learn more about Openhouse training.

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