SAGE, the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ older people, is proud to announce that it has won a grant from The Jewish Federations of North America’s (JFNA) Center for Holocaust Survivor Care and Institute on Aging and Trauma.
When combined with matching funds, this award will enable $160,000 per year for up to two years for virtual programming serving LGBTQ+ elders from across the country. In addition, SAGE will receive intensive training on Person-Centered, Trauma-Informed (PCTI) care, which is crucial as SAGE serves a population of elders who have suffered a life-time of discrimination.
Building on SAGE’s 43-year history of offering LGBTQ+ and aging programming to elders in New York City, and SAGE’s more recent history of offering local and national programs virtually, SAGE will develop and launch a PCTI-driven national initiative that will centralize a range of socialization, mental health, physical wellness, and educational programs on a new digital platform, accessible to LGBTQ+ elders nationwide. SAGE will bring our globally-recognized expertise with trauma-informed approach to LGBTQ+ elders who are otherwise isolated from LGBTQ+-competent programs and care, including those living in rural areas, transgender elders, and LGBTQ+ elders of color.
“We are thrilled to receive the support of JFNA for this vital work,” said David Vincent, PhD., SAGE’s Chief Program Officer. “The ability to provide innovative and trauma-informed services and care via a virtual platform is crucial to SAGE’s reach and impact on LGBTQ+ elders living across the country, especially those LGBTQ+ who live at the intersection of race, gender-identity and varying socio-economic constraints.”
“The pandemic has shown what a difference we can make when we come together, especially for those older adults at highest risk of COVID-19,” said Mark Wilf, Chair of the JFNA Board of Trustees. “Holocaust survivors are our teachers and our heroes, and we are committed to empowering them to live with comfort in their communities. The Federation system is humbled and proud to help thousands of Holocaust survivors, as well as other older trauma survivors and their families during their time of need.”
Jewish Federations launched this program in 2015, following an award from the Administration for Community Living. Acknowledging Jewish Federations’ profound impact, the federal government has increased the funding through the years, highlighted Jewish Federations’ approach as a model for serving all older adults, and empowered Jewish Federations to be the national resource center on aging and trauma.
Since inception, the program has supported approximately 30,000 Holocaust survivors, 15,000 professional caregivers, 5,000 family caregivers, and 2,000 other older adults with a history of trauma. The numbers served include a small amount of duplication as participants received services through multiple organizations and grants. Local organizations have provided specialized care across 21 states and 54 cities.
Jewish Federations work in close collaboration with the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies and other local and national service providers to implement the grant program. More than 60 experts in aging and trauma volunteer their talents to help JFNA implement the program, train grantees, and build capacity to employ the person-centered, trauma-informed approach.
Person-centered, trauma-informed (“PCTI”) care is an innovative approach, spearheaded by JFNA, that promotes trust, dignity, strength, and empowerment of all individuals by incorporating knowledge about trauma into agency programs, policies, and procedures. Some estimates suggest that up to 90% of older adults in the United States have experienced a traumatic event during their lifetimes, which can affect them as they age. The challenges have become even more acute with social distancing and the threats posed by COVID-19.
JFNA aims to catalyze a nation-wide culture shift toward PCTI care across older adult populations. JFNA is proud to do this work with strong bipartisan Congressional support.
This program is made possible by federal funds from a grant through The JFNA Center for Holocaust Survivor Care and Institute on Aging and Trauma. Approximately 75% of the project comes from federal sources and 25% comes from non-federal sources.
SAGE is the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) older people. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBTQ+ older people and their caregivers. SAGE also advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBTQ+ elders, provides education and technical assistance for aging providers and LGBTQ+ community organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBTQ+ Aging, and cultural competency training through SAGECare. With staff located across the country, SAGE also coordinates SAGENet, a growing network of affiliates in the United States. Learn more at sageusa.org.