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    Coming Home: Conveying a Legacy to Openhouse

    aOpenhouse is excited to celebrate a recent pledge of $50,000 from the Coming Home Fund at the Horizons Foundation. Coming Home was a San Francisco institution that established a hospice (currently operated by California Pacific Medical Center) and a fiduciary services agency for people living with HIV/AIDS and LGBT older adults.

    The gift recognizes Openhouse for continuing the legacy of Coming Home through our programs, services and cultural-competency training.

    Roger Doughty, Executive Director of Horizons Foundation, says, “It’s been Horizons’ honor to work with the leaders of Coming Home in writing the final chapter of the organization’s long, proud history of supporting the San Francisco LGBT community. As they’ve shown from their earliest days right up through the grant to Openhouse, the people who make up Coming Home are extraordinary and visionary—and their impact of what they’ve done will be felt for many, many years to come.”

    a2Supporting LGBT Seniors

    Hadley Dale Hall, former CEO of Visiting Nurses and Hospice and current Openhouse board member, says, “It is with special gratitude that Openhouse accepts this gift as a legacy Members of the Openhouse Alliance make a recurring monthly donation of any amount. These gifts provide Openhouse with steady and reliable funding, and make it possible for supporters to give secure and easy-to-set -up donations.
    Members of the Openhouse Circle of Friends are dedicated to creating a community of care and hope that will be there for all of us when we need it. By joining the Circle of Friends through annual gifts of $1,000 or more, supporters ensure that Openhouse continues to meet the needs of LGBT seniors today…and tomorrow. Circle members receive special recognition from Openhouse and other benefits as well.
    Openhouse is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. All contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

    Right: The estate of Thomas Dross made a magnificent big check presentation of $100,000 to Openhouse in 2014. Representing the estate were Alfredo Casuso (left) and David Perry (right). Accepting on behalf of Openhouse were executive staff members Joel Evans and Seth Kilbourn (2nd and 3rd from left) and supporter Al Baum (2nd from right). The gift will support the operation and programs of Openhouse by helping to make possible its ongoing services.


    Eric Rodriguez (right) is an organizer of Pridebox, the LGBT volunteer group at Dropbox. Eric and his colleagues first volunteered for the annual Vantage Points art show at Openhouse last fall.

    San Francisco Bay Times: What’s special about LGBT older adults?

    Eric Rodriguez: LGBT older adults are heroes to me. Many of them fought for the rights of generations that followed, making our lives easier. LGBT older adults are fighters and survivors and we have a lot to learn from them.

    San Francisco Bay Times: Why volunteer at Openhouse?

    Eric Rodriguez: LGBT seniors have every right to be proud of who they are and live their lives openly, without having to worry about how that can impact their safety or care. Openhouse works every day to create community. That’s priceless and worth supporting, as I know it’s something that I would want around me as I age.

    San Francisco Bay Times: Why a volunteer team from Dropbox?

    Eric Rodriguez: We want to get involved in the community. We’re excited to keep partnering with Openhouse in whatever way possible.

    San Francisco Bay Times: What has volunteering meant for you?

    Eric Rodriguez: It makes me appreciate San Francisco more. I came to the city in great part to live my life openly and am interested in getting to know those who came decades before me with the same goal.
    The Rx for Community Leadership
    a5Sandra Hernández, M.D., is the 2015 recipient of the Openhouse Adelman/Gurevitch Founder’s Award. As CEO of the San Francisco Foundation, Dr. Hernández led the way in supporting and sustaining Openhouse’s programs, services and housing. She currently serves as President and CEO of the California HealthCare Foundation.
    Dr. Hernández says, “I learnea4d early in my medical career the value of alternatives to hospitals to help people when they are frail and vulnerable. During the AIDS crisis I saw new organizations arise out of real need and common humanity. This sensitized me to help support community institutions that meet people where they are.”
    She adds, “Openhouse is an important example of a community organization anticipating the kind of rights, policies and programs needed to ensure that LGBT people age with dignity and respect. When I meet community activists who have the courage to do the right thing, I simply figure out how to enable their success. That is the story with Openhouse.”


    a6James Hormel and his life partner Michael Nguyen are the recipients of Openhouse’s Trailblazer Award, in recognition of their advocacy of human rights and social justice. Through their political and philanthropic efforts, they have earned national recognition for uniting people of different backgrounds and perspectives around shared values and mutual interests.

    As ambassador to Luxembourg from 1999 to 2000, James Hormel was the first openly gay man to represent the United States in that capacity. He has served on the board of directors of the American Foundation for AIDS Research and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, and currently serves on the boards of the San Francisco Foundation, People for the American Way, the Commonwealth Club of California, Grace Cathedral, and the San Francisco Symphony.

    In 1995, Hormel funded the creation of the James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center at the San Francisco Public Library. His autobiography, Fit to Serve: Reflections on a Secret Life, Private Struggle, and Public Battle to Become the First Openly Gay U.S. Ambassador, was published in 2011.

    Nguyen, a dancer and musician, is an alumnus of Swarthmore College, which Hormel also attended.