Sarah SavinoSAGE Staff Member
In March 2011, SAGE proudly opened The SAGE Center, the country’s first full-time innovative LGBT senior center. Since then, The SAGE Center has welcomed hundreds of LGBT older people for its weeknight meals, and a variety of engaging programs and services such as meditation, Zumba, a visiting nurse, computer classes, movie nights, and much more. Meet one of the staff members who keeps it all running.
What’s your role?
I supervise the staff of The SAGE Center and ensure that the daily operations of the center run smoothly. This includes overseeing the congregate meal program along with our incredibly busy and exciting calendar full of educational and recreational programming.
What drew you to SAGE?
Since entering the field of aging seven years ago, I have marveled at the work that SAGE does on both a national and local scale and have often turned to them as a resource in my past positions. The traditional senior center environment oftentimes does not cater to the specific needs of LGBT elders. So the thought of being a part of the first, full-time center dedicated to the complex needs of this community was thrilling. The fact that SAGE was selected as an Innovative Senior Center (a program supported by the New York City Department for the Aging) means that we have an opportunity to rethink the way services are delivered, with an eye towards the inventive. The SAGE Center is the most technologically advanced center that I have ever seen—and the 15th floor view doesn’t hurt either!
What do you hope to accomplish while at SAGE?
I hope to live up to SAGE’s longstanding reputation by shaping The SAGE Center into a safe, dynamic and innovative place for LGBT older adults. My goal is for the center to be “one-stop-shopping,” where participants can find enrichment on all levels, whether that be through nutritious meals, health and wellness programming or classes on culture and the arts. I aim to set a high benchmark, making The SAGE Center an exemplary model to be replicated by the many future LGBT senior centers yet to be developed.