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    Openhouse Community Expansion Campaign

    By Natalie Summers–

    The first phase of our Expansion Campaign was completed in 2016. In March 2017, Openhouse and Mercy Housing celebrated the opening of 40 units of LGBT welcoming, affordable, senior housing known as the Openhouse Community at 55 Laguna, along with our new Openhouse headquarters, the Bob Ross LGBT Senior Center at 65 Laguna.

    The integration of Openhouse services and housing at 55 Laguna is quickly becoming a model for quality care and community building. Our community outreach and housing assistance helped to bring together the residents as a diverse, thriving aging community—68% identify as LGBT and 57% are people of color. 100% of the residents at 55 Laguna engaged in Openhouse services in 2017. 

    The expansion campaign has helped to fuel rapid growth in our programs, resulting in a 70% increase in the number of LGBT seniors served in the past three years. 

    The second phase of our campaign, to be completed in Spring 2019, will provide an additional 79 units of LGBT-welcoming affordable senior housing and a multi-use community center of over 7,000 square feet that allows us to expand on-site community programming and ensures that we are able to meet the needs of our seniors.

    • Openhouse will have the capacity to directly serve over 5,000 community members annually, and to reach further into the San Francisco LGBT senior population of 20,000.
    • The new Openhouse community center will include:
      • an art studio where our talented community members can engage their creativity in visual, written, and performing arts;
      • a computer lab that will allow access and training in technology for the many seniors who are currently unable to utilize vital resources available only on-line;
      • a lifelong learning center where seniors will engage in everything from mastering a new language to enjoying Tai Chi to teaching youth lessons on activism and history;
      • a large social gathering space for up to 200 community members with an adjacent balcony overlooking the city for expanded events and celebrations.

    The high visibility of the Openhouse campus will be a source of pride for the entire community and a symbol of how LGBT people, at every age, can thrive and grow!

    Natalie Summers is the Mission Engagement Manager at Openhouse.