LGBT Senior Services in Portland

LGBT Senior Services in Portland

Portland has a reputation as a forward-thinking city and that extends to its LGBT community. The city elected its first openly gay mayor in 2009 and has long supported LGBT marriage rights. It’s not surprising, then, that the Portland metro area is home to extensive social and housing services for LGBT seniors. With its attitude of inclusion, a beautiful natural setting, and a thriving creative scene, Portland is one of the country’s most LGBT-friendly retirement destinations.

The primary resource for Portland-area LGBT seniors is SAGE Metro Portland. SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders) is a program of Friendly House, which also runs kids’ programs and other community services. SAGE’s email newsletter keeps locals up to date on service projects like Meals on Wheels, social events like bridge club and holiday parties, and support groups focused on topics of interest to seniors.

Lots of LGBT senior housing options

SAGE and Friendly House also compile an annual list of LGBT-friendly senior living communities around Portland, with star ratings, descriptions, locations, and contact information. Among its top recommendations for 2014 are ten Oregon communities run by Concepts in Community Living, including Taft Home in southwest Portland. Taft Home is located in a historic converted hotel and offers comprehensive care services for residents, with a particular focus on serving low-income seniors.

Another standout on this year’s SAGE list is Providence ElderPlace in Irvington Village on Portland’s northeast side. ElderPlace in Irvington Village is Oregon’s only licensed PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) community. Run by the Providence Health & Services network of hospitals, clinics, and care providers, the ElderPlace complex welcomes low-income seniors with ongoing health issues. Residents receive daily meal service, transportation to events and appointments, and on-call help – and they’re welcome to bring their pets.

LGBT advocacy in Portland

Seniors who want to donate time and effort to social causes have plenty of options in the Portland metro area:

In Other Words is one of the country’s only feminist bookstores, and it’s also a community center, lending library, and venue for activities such as kundalini yoga, senior book clubs, film screenings, and volunteer training for those who want to donate their time to the store and center.

Members of the Human Rights Campaign’s Portland community work on marriage equality and other legal and social issues that affect the LGBT community. Volunteer opportunities abound, ranging from fundraiser promotion to meeting with legislators. The HRC also compiles national reports rating cities, companies, and healthcare providers on LGBT equality.

Another advocacy group, Basic Rights Oregon, focuses on marriage equality, racial justice, and transgender rights. The Portland-based organization compiles pro-equality voting guides, offers help for trans people navigating the healthcare system, and provides legal information about Oregon’s registered domestic partnerships. BRO volunteers work on event set-up and tear-down, campaign work, fundraiser hosting, and other tasks. BRO events in 2015 include the 16th annual “Bites for Rights” statewide restaurant fundraiser on June 18th and the autumn Ignite Gala that brings together pro-LGBT luminaries from politics, medicine, business, and the arts.

Learn more about Portland Senior Living here:

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Casey Kelly-Barton is an Austin-based freelance writer whose childhood was made awesome by her grandmothers, great-grandmother, great-aunts and -uncles, and their friends.


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