Christina DaCosta,Assistant Director of Communications,917-553-3328,firstname.lastname@example.org
December 13, 2016
Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders (SAGE USA) has launched SAGE Miami, established in partnership with Jewish Community Services of South Florida (JCS).
A celebration of SAGE Miami's launch recently took place at Temple Israel of Greater Miami. The event featured remarks by Donna Lise Dambrot, SAGE Miami's program manager; Fred Stock, JCS' president and chief executive officer; Joan Schaeffer, JCS liaison to the LGBT elder community; and keynote speaker Ruth Shack, who sponsored the 1977 Human Rights Ordinance as a member of the Miami-Dade County Commission.
As the newest member of SAGE USA's national network of 30 affiliates across 20 states and the District of Columbia, SAGE Miami is positioned to rapidly implement and customize local services and programming that can meet the unique needs of LGBT older adults in the Miami-Dade area. Offering programs in both English and Spanish, it provides opportunities for elders to gather, cultivate new friendships, support one another and learn together.
JCS, which has focused on meeting the needs of older adults since it was established in 1920, began offering services specifically to meet the needs of LGBT older adults in 2010. As a result of this new partnership with SAGE Miami, the social services agency has expanded programming to LGBT elders.
"JCS's affiliation with SAGE is a natural evolution of our mission and of the work we do every day in Miami with the LGBT community and with senior adults," Stock said. "SAGE Miami will enable JCS to reach an underserved community whose members are often isolated with culturally sensitive and much needed programming in a welcoming and inclusive environment."
Stock noted that one of the most significant needs in the local LGBT elder community that they intend to address relates to housing.
"There is a lack of what I would call LGBT friendly affordable housing in this community. Now it's acknowledged there are issues with affordable housing in a general sense, but most of the housing that's available in this particular community is not friendly towards the LGBT community."
Schaeffer said : "Like many communities, the LGBT community has always been very focused on youths, which is not a bad thing, but we're getting older and we need to consider the people who got us here, and they're the seniors."
During her welcoming remarks at the launch event, Dambrot said that "it's time to care for our elders who paved the way for all we have now."
Dambrot also took a moment to thank the driving forces of bringing SAGE locally: Hector Zuazo and Robert Medina of Miami.
"I'm so excited that we finally have SAGE here," Zuazo said. "When you get to be my age, you feel like you're running out of time so this is so exciting and so rewarding."
Shack expressed in her keynote presentation that she's thrilled SAGE is now in Miami and that she's delighted that JCS is a partner.
"I congratulate each of you and I thank you for putting this in place at this time," she remarked.
Visit jcsfl.org/programs/sage-miami/ or call 305-403-4409 for more information.
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