Dallas, TX – Resource Center, a Dallas based support center for LGBTQ communities and all people affected by HIV, has launched a $4 million capital campaign for the construction of LGBTQ-friendly and affordable senior housing, officials announced Wednesday, December 16. The campaign, led by community advocates Lynn McBee and Phil Clemmons, was prompted by the need to “meet the growing demand for affordable housing and care and services for the aging lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning population in the Dallas community,” according to a statement released this afternoon. The center has partnered with Volunteers of America and developer Matthews Southwest, the press release noted, and has already purchased property in the Oak Lawn neighborhood. A recent donation of $150,000 by longtime Center supporters Stephen Tosha and Stephen Strecansky put the capital campaign over the $1 million mark. “We feel grateful to be able to give support to this worthy project as we believe the need is so great in our community,” Tosha said in the press release. “The community has supported us in my business, and it is our mission to give back to the LGBTQ community.”

            Even though society is becoming more accepting of LGBTQ people, older LGBTQ individuals still live with a legacy of fear and social stigma that has “disrupted their lives, their connections with their families of origin, their lifetime earnings and their opportunities to save for retirement,” the press release noted. And, it continued, “the added stress of dealing with decades of discrimination [puts] LGBTQ older adults at risk of physical and mental illness and other conditions, such as chronic diseases, depression, disability, poor nutrition, high premature mortality and social isolation.” The Center’s vision for this project is to provide LGBTQ seniors with “affirming opportunities for socialization, recreation and emotional support” and to “transform the way LGBTQ older adults live, access services and develop community support for generations to come.”

            The housing project will consist of an 84-unit building with amenities and open green space on a two-acre site that has excellent access to services and transportation, and is about half a mile from Resource Center’s Community Center at 5750 Cedar Springs Road. The overall budget for the budget is about $23 million; it is expected to be financed with public funds from state and local sources and private mortgage financing in addition to the money raised through the capital campaign. Resource Center has offered senior-focused programming and services since 2007, and in 2013 resolved to increase the size and scope of THRIVE, its community program for older adults. (Dallas Voice – https://dallasvoice.com/resource-center-launches-a-4m-capital-campaign-for-lgbtq-friendly-senior-housing/)