A unique Hollywood housing complex will mix LGBT youth and seniors
By Josie Huang
Lorri L. Jean, CEO of the the Los Angeles LGBT Center, which is building the $100 million complex, calls the two generation groups "the two most vulnerable parts of our community."
She said it will help get LGBT teens and early 20-somethings, who make up a disproportionate number of homeless young people, off the streets.
And she said it’ll give older adults an alternative to senior living facilities where they sometimes face discrimination.
"Residents treat them poorly because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity so this is a place where they can be who they are," Jean said.
The building, which will be called the Anita May Rosenstein Campus, will also allow LGBT youth and seniors to interact more, said Michael Adams of the national LGBT aging group, SAGE.
Adams said LGBT Americans are four times less likely to have kids than their straight counterparts, so many don’t often have the chance to interact with younger people, and don't have children to help take care of them in older age.
"In the LGBT community, we talk a lot about the real tragedy that comes from the lack of connection across generations within our community," Adams said.
He said the project in L.A. will bridge that gap by giving older adults the chance to mentor young adults.
"From younger folks what we hear over and over again is they don’t know very much about the history of their community or about the history of LGBT people," Adams said.
Meanwhile, young adults can help older residents around their apartments and help them with their computers and social media, Jean said.
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