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City funds services for transgender older adults

San Francisco Examiner - 2/11/2020

The Department of Disability and Aging Services has granted approximately $1 million to establish social service programs for transgender and gender-nonconforming older adults and adults with disabilities over the next three years, The City announced Monday.

The programs will be the first publicly-funded services specifically for TGNC older adults and adults with disabilities in the nation, according to The City.

"We are proud that San Francisco continues to lead the country in providing comprehensive programs and policies that support our LGBTQ community," said Mayor London Breed. "This first of its kind program will provide much needed support tailored for trans seniors and adults with disabilities who often experience higher rates of discrimination and isolation."

Services will aim to build community with safe spaces, weekly support groups and field trips in a supportive and gender-affirming environment. The program will expand from there based on participant input, according to Shireen McSpadden, executive director of the Department of Disability and Aging Services.

According to a department assesment, LGBTQ populations participate in city services at lower rates than the overall population, and disabled or elderly TGNC individual's participation rates are lower still. Stigma and discrimination make accessing services more difficult for TGNC older adults and adults with disabilities, according to The City.

Programs will be provided in partnership with nonprofits Openhouse and Curry Senior Center, organizations that specialize in helping seniors in San Francisco.

"Trans rights today are due to the efforts of our trans seniors who paved the way for equality," said Clair Farley, director of the Office of Trans Initiatives. "We owe it to them and the future of our movement to ensure our communities can age with dignity and joy. Our elders deserve to age connected with their chosen family, in San Francisco, the city they love and call home."

To find out more and apply for services, call the DAS at (415) 355-6700 or visit their resource hub at 2 Gough Street.

Openhouse and Curry Senior Center are currently looking for transgender or gender-nonconforming people interested in becoming service providers.

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