SAGE Miami Services for LGBTQ+ Elders

Many factors leave LGBTQ+ elders without anybody to turn to, unable to cover the expenses of daily living, unable to access the care and services they need, and at serious risk as they grow older. As a result of a generous gift from SAGE supporter Alfred Allan Lewis and his late husband, Ralph Lutrin, SAGE’s Miami Services for LGBTQ+ Elders program will provide practical and financial support to LGBTQ+ elders in Miami-Dade County and expand our work in South Florida.

The monetary aid portion of the program will help ease the severe financial burden faced by low-income older LGBTQ+ people in Miami. SAGE Miami Services for LGBTQ+ Elders also seeks to address social isolation among LGBTQ+ elders in Miami by forging social connections and companionship. If you or someone you care about can benefit from this program, please call (786) 604-0082 or email miami@sageusa.org for more information.

Services include:

  • Enrollment benefits and entitlements
  • Development of care plans
  • Referrals to additional support services
  • Direct emergency financial aid for elders in need

We are proud to be part of the 2-1-1 Miami directory of community resources used to help callers throughout the county access our services. We also welcome referrals from the community, including other agencies, family, friends, and potential participants. You can make a referral here>>

Friendly Visitor Program in Ft. Lauderdale

Many older people face the risk of social isolation, but this risk is even more pronounced for LGBTQ+ elders. Older LGBTQ+ people are twice as likely to live alone, twice as likely to be single, and 3 to 4 times less likely to have children, compared to their non-LGBTQ+ peers. Homebound or neighborhood-bound LGBTQ+ older people can often have little weekly contact with the outside other than visits with health professionals, and virtually no contact with members of the LGBTQ+ community. To combat these issues in South Florida, SAGE’s Friendly Visitor program is offered in Fort Lauderdale.

Modeled on SAGE’s NYC Friendly Visitor program, the Fort Lauderdale program operates from Sunshine Cathedral, a Metropolitan Community Church (LGBTQ+‐affirming). The program offers social support to homebound elders through weekly visits and calls by volunteers.

Friendly Visitor volunteers are carefully screened and fully trained. Those who become Friendly Visitors have made a commitment to at least one year of involvement with the client. They visit once a week for an hour or two and make calls between visits. They also attend supportive and educational meetings every other month. When someone calls asking for SAGE’s help (either the client, a friend, relative, neighbor or other service provider), the SAGE Program Coordinator visits the home for an initial assessment. Friendly Visitor referrals are made with the client’s consent. SAGE then matches the client with a Friendly Visitor.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or a participant of the program, please fill out this form. For more information, email Program Manager Mitchell Zahn at mzahn@sageusa.org or call 646-568-9354.

Thanks to Our Fund, the LGBTQ community foundation of South Florida, for their financial support of this program.

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