(AP) NEW YORK – New York City celebrated the opening Thursday of what city officials say is the nation’s first full-service senior center designed specifically for the gay community.
A standing-room-only crowd of more than 200 people attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the SAGE Innovative Senior Center in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.
“This is long overdue,” said Lillian Barrios-Paoli, commissioner of the city Department for the Aging. “We are beyond thrilled.”The center is operated by the Department for the Aging and SAGE, a 34-year-old social service agency. SAGE stands for Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders.Robert Philipson, a 77-year-old retired jewelry salesman, said he started going to bereavement counseling at SAGE after he lost his partner of 50 years.“When you find yourself alone at 77 and you’ve built your life around another person, you are at somewhat of a loss as to where to go next,” he said. “SAGE filled that gap.”-full report at CBS News