SAGE Metro Portland
For over a decade Friendly House has provided a range of services for LGBT older adults with a mission to enhance the lives of LGBT community members through education, advocacy, outreach, resource development and case management. Previously known as Gay & Grey, we are now officially part of the SAGE network as the Portland local affiliate, known as SAGE Metro Portland. SAGE (Services & Advocacy for GLBT elders) is the world’s oldest and largest nonprofit agency dedicated to serving LGBT older adults. Since its inception, SAGE has pioneered programs and services for the aging LGBT community, provided technical assistance and training to expand opportunities, and advocated for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT older adults.
LGBT older adults face challenges that their heterosexual counterparts do not. For example, the effect of historical and present-day social stigma and prejudice often cause LGBT older adults to not seek care or services when needed. This stigma can also leave LGBT older adults and seniors isolated or having to face the impossible decision to go back into the closet to seek care, services, or housing. Whereas many older adults and seniors turn to families for care or support, LGBT older adults are more likely to live alone or have inadequate family support networks. Lastly, LGBT older adults and seniors face unequal treatment under laws, programs and services. All together these challenges make it more difficult for LGBT older adults to achieve three key aspects of successful aging; financial security, good health and health care, and community support and engagement.
Who We Are
Formerly known as Gay & Grey our SAGE Metro Portland program works to enhance the lives of older gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community members through education, advocacy, outreach and resource development. In 2010, Friendly House’s SAGE Metro Portland program adopted SHARE (Senior Housing and Retirement Enterprises), a private non-profit that had been established in 2001 to address the critical lack of affordable housing for sexual-minority seniors in the Greater Portland Metro area. In 2011 Gay & Grey become an affiliate of a national non-profit, SAGE (Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders).
SAGE Metro Portland is working with and for LGBT elders 60+ to create community and social change. We work to ensure the safety and well-being of LGBT elders in Portland Metro area. We conduct trainings to educate health care workers, retirement home staff, and many others about the unique issues facing LGBT elders, advocate for inclusive and open housing, and build community through social events and common purpose.
SAGE Metro Portland hosts social events in order to have a safe space for LGBT seniors to gather, recreate, socialize, and learn about resources. Activities are open to LGBT elders, their families, friends and allies. SAGE activities include 2nd Thursday Social, educational presentations about legal and medical issues, and cultural and creative outlets like writing workshops with Well Arts.
To learn more about upcoming events you can check our Facebook page! Or email the SAGE Metro Portland Coordinator with your mailing or email address to receive our quarterly newsletter either though the mail or email.
SAGE Metro Portland has created diversity trainings to increase awareness of the unique needs and concerns of the elder LGBT community by incorporating both academic materials and personal experiences in the presentations. We present our training curriculum to college classes, social service agencies, groups of long term care providers, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other groups upon request.
Examples of groups we have trained include Linfield and OHSU School of Nursing students, Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services staff, local district senior centers staff and volunteers, Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization staff, Elders In Action Ombudsman and several colleges and universities including Portland State University, University of Portland, and Portland Community College. Please contact us for information on upcoming workshops or about scheduling one for your organization. Or click here to complete a training request!
By 2030 it is estimated that there will be 7-million LGBT older adults reaching retirement. SAGE Metro Portland has developed a comprehensive housing assessment program that will be utilized to assist senior housing providers in reaching their goals of having an attractive housing option for the growing LGBT 60+ community. If you are a LGBT elder who is interested in being part of our Housing Committee that meets monthly and is responsible for overseeing and implementing the assessments, or you would like more information regarding the housing assessment please call (503-224-2640) or email us for more information.
The Gay & Grey Expo is an annual event for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older adults and allies. This year’s Expo will be on Saturday October 26th at The Colony. The day includes a resource fair, breakout sessions and speakers. The Gay & Grey Expo is a one-of-a-kind event and we are proud to be in our fifth year! The Gay & Grey Expo builds community among LGBT older adults, allies and activists. We celebrate the achievements of LGBT older adults while advocating for a fair and inclusive future. Our unique strengths and experiences bring us together for an inspiring event that is fun and informative. This year has us thinking about the projection of marriage equality reaching the Oregon ballot, the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and the forthcoming ruling from the Supreme Court. In addition, it is always important to celebrate the love, support, history and contributions of the LGBT community. With all this in mind we are announcing this year’s Expo theme: Kiss & Tell.
Opportunities for Giving
Friendly House welcomes your donations of money and material goods to help us with outreach to and activities for LGBT elders, including those who are isolated due to lack of resources or disability, or those who are in the closet and may not know there is a place where they are wanted, welcomed and cherished for who they are.
Would you like to help SAGE Metro Portland create social change? SAGE Metro Portland can provide Cooperative Educational experience for qualified students. We also seek volunteers to train as Diversity Training facilitators, Diversity Training Elder Panel members, and volunteers to help organize and implement the Expo or weekly activity and events.
Questions? Please call 503-224-2640 or email the SAGE Metro Portland Coordinator.