The LGBT Senior Steering Committee formed as the outgrowth of our Senior Needs Assessment Lunch in October 2016. The committee divided in two, one focusing on LBGT social activities and the other on program and service needs and fundraising.
Four LGBT senior luncheons were held at The Marin Yacht Club. The new LGBT Social Committee expanded the format to include music, dancing and a raffle. Committee members are now welcoming new people to be sure everyone feels included.
Nancy Flaxman conducted two cultural competence trainings, one in the spring for the county’s Older Adults Department and one in the fall at WhistleStop. Buz Hermes did a training for an Older Adults conference in June. We also contracted with Buz to lead an eight session workshop on Aging Gayfully.
Spahr participated in The Academy of Friends Gala in February and we received a $10,000 grant at their awards ceremony.
We held a Marin Pride Picnic in June, co-sponsored by Microsoft at The Village Mall and Kaiser’s Community Benefit Program. The picnic was attended by about 100 people. Jared Huffman, Damon Connolly, Bob Harmon, Janie Spahr and Floyd Tompkins spoke.
The AIDS Walk was in July and we had a successful campaign, raising $20,000.
The Spahr Center website launched at the end of the summer including the much-awaited monthly calendar of events. www.thespahrcenter.org
We received a $50,000 Innovations grant from the county’s Behavioral Health Department in November to support LGBTQ youth and young adults in building community. This is the first grant Spahr or our predecessors have received from Behavioral Health. The funds will be renewed next July and extend to June 2019.
We also received our first grant from The Horizons Foundation in November for $5000 to support working with LGBT seniors.
The board held a day-long retreat in September to outline goals for the next several years. The primary focus is on increasing funding for LGBTQ programs and the costs of general administration including rent, operating costs and administrative staff.
At Thanksgiving, we provided food bags with turkeys and trimmings for over 40 HIV positive clients and their families. We held a Holiday Tea for LGBT seniors at WhistleStop December 12th and a holiday party for HIV positive clients in Spahr’s community room on December 20th.
We close the year with a beginning. We’re forming a new, collaborative relationship with Marin Community Clinics as they begin providing HIV medical care for patients transferring from the county’s clinic which will close January 24th.