Ethos Out4Supper Provides Nutrition and Socialization for Isolated LGBT Elders
Boston, MA (September 5, 2012) – Ethos, the Jamaica Plain-based elder services non-profit, today announced the opening of Out4Supper, a bi-weekly supper club for LGBT seniors and their friends. Ethos, which founded the first LGBT-friendly elder community café in 2005, is once again taking a leadership role, and significant step in reducing social isolation among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) seniors.
According to a recent survey, conducted by the Massachusetts LGBT Aging Needs Assessment Coalition (M’LANA), of attendees at elder meal sites throughout the Greater Boston-area, a majority of lesbian, gay and bisexual seniors report feeling at least one aspect of social isolation. In fact, more than 53% of LGB seniors reported feeling they lacked companionship, compared to only 32% of heterosexuals. The same study found that 44% of LGB seniors feel left out compared to 20% of their heterosexual counterparts.
“LGBT elders are less likely to be partnered, more likely to be childless, and too often estranged from their own families”, said Dale Mitchell, executive director of Ethos. “LGBTs face significant barriers to healthy aging such as isolation and depression. LGBT elders need support to age in their communities. Ethos Out4Supper, as with Café Emmanuel and Out2Brunch, will help prevent social isolation by providing a safe and inviting environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors to commune with each other.”
Out4Supper will be held monthly, starting Tuesday, September 4 at 6:00 p.m., at the newly renovated Mount Pleasant Home, at 301 Huntington Ave., in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston, and will be the first LGBT-friendly “Supper Club” in the city. A varied program of entertainment, speakers or discussion groups will accompany Out4Supper making each event a memorable experience.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Mount Pleasant Home to extend our existing mission to reduce the seclusion that many elders experience,” said Merlin Southwick, executive director of Mount Pleasant Home. “We are very proud to provide a safe, supportive place for LGBT elders to socialize within the community.”
Ethos has long been a leader in identifying and meeting the unique needs of the aging gay community. The goal of the Out4Supper supper club, and all of Ethos’ LGBT-friendly meal sites, is to provide a warm, safe and comfortable environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors to commune with each other.
Support for the expansion of Ethos’ elder meal programs for LGBT seniors, including the new Out4Supper, is made possible by the Ethos Equality Fund, the City of Boston Commission on Affairs of the Elderly and Mount Pleasant Home. The Ethos Equality Fund was established this past February and is the first fund in the Boston-area dedicated to supporting the development, implementation, and expansion of programs, services, and activities that will enhance the quality of life LGBT elders and their support circles.