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    Let’s Move Dignity Fund Forward

    1-MarcyAdelmanThe Dignity Fund is a proposed amendment to the San Francisco Charter that would establish a set-aside fund from 2% of property taxes to meet the current unmet and future needs of San Francisco’s most vulnerable seniors—veterans, homeless seniors, adults with disabilities, isolated LGBT seniors, people aging with HIV and people living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. It is hopefully headed for the November ballot, but first it must pass the Board of Supervisors to make it there.

    In less than 15 years, San Francisco residents over the age of 65 will increase from 20% of San Francisco’s population to 30 % of the city’s population, an increase of almost 100,000 individuals. Funding for existing programs has barely kept pace, and without an infusion of financial resources, senior services and programs will not be able to meet the challenges ahead. San Francisco needs to avert a crisis in senior care. The health and well-being of vulnerable elders is at risk.

    A coalition of dedicated senior advocates, senior community organizations and non-profits has been tirelessly working to create this new legislation to secure stable and sustained funding for San Francisco’s growing population of seniors and adults living with disability. The legislation identifies seven areas in need of resources:

    1. Home and Community-Based Long-Term Care and Support
    2. Food and Nutrition Programs
    3. Consumer and Caregiver Education, Empowerment and Support
    4. Senior/Disabled Community and Service Centers
    5. Empowerment, Self-Advocacy and Legal Services Programs
    6. Health and Wellness
    7. Targeted Services

    Most elders want to stay in their homes and in their communities. Secure funding in these seven areas will help vulnerable elders age in community for as long as possible and as well as possible.

    A few of the supporting Coalition members are: AIDS Legal Referral Panel, Alzheimer’s Association; Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, Bayview Hunters Point Multi-Purpose Senior Services, HIV Long Term Survivors, Project Openhand, Openhouse, San Francisco Village, Shanti Project and Swords to Plowshares.

    A vote of at least six members of the Board of Supervisors is required to place it on the November 2016 ballot. Go to http://www.sfdignityfund.org/ to get the latest up-to-date news, and find out how you can support the coalition’s efforts to get on the November ballot.

    Marcy Adelman, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in private practice, is co-founder of the non-profit organization Openhouse and was a leading member of the San Francisco LGBT Aging Policy Task Force.

    LGBT Resources
    for Seniors

    • Openhouse: 415-296-8995 openhouse-sf.org/
    • Family Caregiver
      Alliance: 415-434-3388
      www.caregiver.org
    • Institute on Aging: 415-750-4111, www.ioaging.org/
    • National Resource
      Center on LGBT Aging
      www.lgbtagingcenter.org/
    • Project Open Hand
      San Francisco: Nutrition
      Services, 415-447-2300
      www.openhand.org/
    • SAGE: 212-741-2247
      www.sageusa.org/about/
    • Shanti Project, Inc: HIV Services and Life Threatening Illnesses, 415-674-4700
      www.shanti.org/

    Alzheimer’s Association Programs and Services:

    • 24/7 Helpline: 1-800-272-3900, www.alz.org/norcal/; Online Community: www.alzheimersblog.org/lgbt-forum
    • Memory Clinic, Kaiser
      Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center: 408-530-6900, mydoctor.kaiserpermanente.org/ncal/facilities/region/santaclara/area_master/departments/memoryclinic/index.jsp