Sunday, March 27, 2011
The Golden Girls—Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sophia—had each other to exchange quips about men and life, usually over slices of cheesecake. In real life, many older LGBT adults in Boystown looking for companionship, and maybe a little extra income, are turning to the nation’s first LGBT homesharing program to find it.
The homesharing program at the Center on Halsted is a free service that matches LGBT seniors with younger renters who can help with chores and other household tasks in exchange for reduced rent.
The homesharing program officially launched in December 2010, and as of last month, the program has its first match: a gay male renter and a lesbian homesharing provider.
“There are other homesharing programs across the country, but our program is specifically designed for the LGBT community,” said Britta Larson, 31, homesharing manager at the Center. “As LGBT older adults age, they can become very isolated and, sometimes, they struggle to remain in their own homes. I have had older adults that were living comfortably in a lovely condo, but when their partner passed away, they were not eligible for their partner’s social security or pension, and now they are in a dire financial situation.”