LGBT Center of Raleigh

324 South Harrington Street - Raleigh NC 27603 - 919-832-4484

Senior Housing Initiative

SAGE Raleigh

SAGE Raleigh Senior Housing Initiative


To advocate for LGBT Seniors in Raleigh, North Carolina to have a safe, respected and welcoming place to live in their golden years.


The SAGE Raleigh Housing Initiative will provide education and promote awareness of the special needs of LGBT Seniors to local government, non-profit and for-profit entities in the housing industry. Our options include the construction of new facilities, the purchase and conversion of existing buildings, and the education and training of administration, staff and residents within new and existing senior living facilities so that they can become welcoming and safe environments. Our efforts will include looking into the feasibility of affordable rental, market rate rental and for-purchase housing.

Meeting Minutes August 2016

The SAGE Raleigh Housing Initiative Meeting
August 7, 2016

Present: Anne Arndt, Sharon Kilpatrick, Bob Fesler, Mark Bruno, Bob Wenz, Nancy Ruffner, Evie Vose, Margaret Toman, Les Geller, Joseph Wheeler
Amy Farlow has resigned from the committee.
Evie Vose and Margaret Toman joined the committee.

We reviewed the Mission and Vision of the Committee and the Committee Agreements.

The minutes of the last meeting were approved.

Education and Training Committee

Nancy reported for the committee.

For now, the primary target audience is administration and staff of affordable housing. It is our intent to consider and respond to any requests.

Re: DHIC, committee members agreed to review their website.

The committee requested that a representative of DHIC attend a committee meeting to help educate our group.

Members began to look at how and what we want to include in the content of a training. We are looking at having an outline for training to be designed by this group.

We are still looking at getting funding to purchase Gen Silent.

There is acknowledgment of a need to educate ourselves related to issues of housing, aging, and/or sexual orientation and gender identity.

Current plans include development as trainers via a train-the-trainer process.

The group will create a parking lot to include things we may find valuable for the future.

Les contacted representatives of Gen Silent, and we do not yet have resolution. We can license it on-line, but we don’t yet know the cost.

Wake County DHIC, Inc. is a local non-profit quasi-governmental agency whose mission is to:

  • Strengthen neighborhoods and families by offering expanded homeownership opportunities.
  • Provide quality affordable rental housing for families, seniors and other individuals with limited incomes.
  • Enhance the economic well-being of residents of DHIC communities and low-wealth neighborhoods.

Les wrote their administrator, and he has been on sabbatical for three months. He also communicated with the interim administrator. We have not yet heard back, but anticipate an offer to learn more about their agency.

Research and Development Committee

The group discussed outreach to developers who have been involved with LGBT-friendly housing in other areas. Margaret contacted a developer but has not yet had resolution from that company. She was also referred to the NC Housing Coalition.

Based on her recommendation, LGBT Center of Raleigh has joined the NC Housing Coalition, A private non-profit membership organization. They have a council of developers committed to affordable housing. It has been decided that at their fall conference in October we will pursue hosting a booth.

Habitat for Humanity is pursuing co-housing, a living concept where people have small buildings around a central area, each unit is its own residence. It is an intentional community. We will pursue getting more information about Habitat’s intention.

Other developers were contacted, but we have not received responses yet. Les also contacted Dean Debnam at Workplace Options to see what resources might be available for us.

Survey Results

Les presented a PowerPoint presentation of the results from the web housing survey.

Intern Availability

Les announced that we may be able to have an undergraduate social worker, an older gay man who wants to work in aging issues. The Center has a social worker on staff who can supervise the intern.

Focus Groups

A short presentation included information about the sessions that will be held in the fall. There will be multiple sessions, perhaps as many as ten. Participants will be drawn from the group that has already expressed an interest and supplied contact information. When we see what the demographic representation is, we will target some under-represented groups. Plans are for some sessions to be open, some female only, some male only.

A list is being compiled of possible facilitators, who will receive a basic instruction about the intent of the sessions. Publicity will begin in September, with sessions following three-four weeks later.

There was discussion about who should take the leadership roles in arranging for sessions. Evie and Anne joined Les and Joseph in volunteering to support with organizing focus groups.

New Business

The steering committee has made a commitment to Diversity and Inclusion, and it was noted that the committee is interested in having representation from under-represented populations.

Meeting Frequency

The steering committee met to discuss how often the committee should come together to transact business. Options were presented and the decision was made to continue with one meeting per month, with the Education and Research Committees meeting as needed.

Next Meeting: September 11, 2016, 2 PM at the LGBT Center of Raleigh.


Meeting Minutes July 2016

The SAGE Raleigh Housing Initiative Meeting
July 10, 2016

Sharon, Nancy, Bob F., Les, Jerry, Bill, Allen, Joseph, Mark, Anne
Anne Arndt, a retired social worker who has worked for Hospice, joined the committee.

Education Committee
Nancy, Bob W., Bob F., Mark, Joseph
Anne will also be working with this committee.

This committee met twice since last large group meeting and generated a number of questions. A comprehensive report was given by Nancy (a copy of that report is attached).

Actions include:

  • Check to see if the committee can purchase a full license for Gen Silent.
  • Get a better understanding of programs and service available from SAGE national office.
  • Understand more about DHIC and affordable housing in Wake County. The committee also expressed strong interest in arranging for a DHIC Representative to educate the entire committee.

Les reported that he has talked with representatives of SAGE national and found that SAGE national does not now offer 4 or 8-hour training at no cost. They charge a fee for what used to be free. He approached them about adding a section about housing to the basic training and was told that we could add sections to their already-existing curriculum. We may want to consider building our own curriculum.

Les volunteered to attend the next meeting of the Education Committee to answer some of the questions raised in the committee report.

The committee requested contact information be provided for all members of the Housing Initiative Committee.

Other Business

Allen made the suggestion that the Housing Initiative Committee explore hosting a social service intern.

Bill suggested that a social work intern might be arranged through NCSU. Another option is to ask a representative from DHIC to instruct us about how an intern could be arranged through aging organizations.

It was determined that we will pursue an internship and that Les will speak with James Miller to see if it is possible for one of the interns assigned to the Center for the Fall could support this committee. Bill noted that a number of people get placed with the NC Housing Coalition, and we might be able to use one of their interns.

Research and Development Committee
Sharon, Jerry, Allen, Les, Margaret, Bill

This group is undertaking research of developers who have worked with LGBT-friendly housing. They divided a list of those developers and set out to make contact with them.

Les reported that he contacted Jim Kane and has not yet heard from him.

Margaret contacted a builder who is working in San Diego; there may be a possibility for follow-up.

Bill reported not yet having success with people in San Diego and Philadelphia. He has another contact he will pursue.

He received a contact that does financing for affordable housing projects. He is still looking at providing Les with names of developers.


We have 150 responses to the electronic survey submitted through the LGBT Center.

Les briefly reviewed the results with the group and said there will be a full report at the next meeting after we receive results from the second round of the electronic survey.

It was noted that when respondents indicated why LGBT-friendly housing is important to them most responses fell into categories of community, safety, respect, family of choice.

Allen suggested we request to make a promotion for our work at the Center Gala in October. We agreed to pursue that request.

Sharon suggested we use Meet-up groups of other organizations to get agreement to use their email lists for our solicitations.

Focus Groups

A number of respondents said they are interested in participating in focus groups.

The steering committee will design the process and will organize administrative tasks.

We are going to focus on getting a broad range of diversity represented among focus group respondents.

Other Business

The group revisited the proposal that was made at a previous meeting that we develop a timeline with goals. It was determined that we need to focus on our immediate tasks before we can think about long-term planning.

It was suggested that each committee develop its own timeline.

Currently committee members are in a very active process of gathering information.

Meeting closed at 3:17 PM followed by a demonstration of the SAGE LGBT 101 training provided by Les to those interested.
Next meeting: August 7, 2016 at 2 PM


Two subcommittee meetings, June 15 and July 5, 2016

Questions centered around:

Referencing the mission of the subcommittee – getting clear on our own scope, Education and Training.

Confirm target audience (we believe it to be housing developments, administration, staff and residents).
Prioritize training to target audiences. Suggestion to broaden scope after that.

Availability, timeline and content of training for our subcommittee and the whole committee.

Exactly what is the training available to the subcommittee? What does it cover? (“101”, Sage National’s One-day training).

What is the scope of Affordable housing in Wake County? >> Structure, who manages it, factors that affect funding (from where, when, any influences). Can we get a list of existing housing? What is the need, and how do they measure it (how need is measured could lead to how SAGE would demonstrate LGBTQ need, and how to fully participate as part of Wake County need)?

We could use a mentor within Wake County Housing so as to understand structure, how the department works, and to better our marketing.

What is the Wake County LGBTQ need for housing and how will that be measured? How will that become part of our training content?

- Without understanding any of the above,

Questions arose re: SAGE National- what are their housing goals and initiatives?

We see the SAGECARE initiative for care; is there anything for housing? Is there housing material or information we can use? Can we dovetail or work in concert? Can we offer them some inroads to local our local information and can we gain their content, case studies and contacts?

A Recommendation or Certification of training completion: what would that look like, would entities want it, use it?

Non discrimination policies- questions centered around: Is there a template for non-discrimination statements or any other SAGE National templates we can use? Do we invent a protected group? Do we help or educate as to how to develop policies or simply expect them? Are there to be policies suggested, protected, violated, policed somehow?

With the above questions and no idea of training or materials available yet >

Training in general:

Once there is content and direction with respect to a target audience we agreed some focus should be on developing the training process (“Train the trainer”, how we will become comfortable presenting whatever the content may be).

Training methodology- Focus on education, raising awareness, and need? Use Silent Gen (and purchase a copy)? Later will need to develop process for targeting and communicating with target audiences, scheduling trainings, etc.

General, but at both meetings

Access to services including affordable for LGBTQ community –

How communicated to LGBTQ community- ways and sites for outreach, how & who may spearhead. Ex. Resources for Seniors and Senior Centers.

And finally,

SAGE Raleigh Housing Group – Refresh memory of the structure including subcommittees and their purposes.

Can we obtain Committee and subcommittee list with contact information for everyone, a committees list, chart or member roster?


Meeting Minutes May 2016

The SAGE Raleigh Housing Initiative Meeting
June 5, 2016

Present: Les Geller, Jerry Algozer, Sharon Kilpatrick, Amy Farlow, Bob Fesler, Allan Feinstein, Bill Lamb, Joseph Wheeler, Nancy Ruffner, Mark Bruno
Not present: Victoria Plesca, Bob Wenz, Elizabeth Stuart
Resignations: Brad Batch, J Zirbel
Additions: Bob Wenz

It was suggested that we need to correspond with Elizabeth Stuart who has taken a new job in another city to determine if she will be continuing on the committee or plans to resign.

We did not have the minutes of the last meeting, so approval of those minutes will be deferred to a later date.

Bob F. suggested that at each meeting we print the Group Guidelines on the back of the agenda, and that was agreed upon.

Les made a report about the survey results from those completed during Out! Raleigh. A copy of those results is attached.

The committee members completed the extended survey that will be sent to the email list at the LGBT Center to determine how long it will take responders to complete the survey. We will get some information from the survey which will be distributed through the LGBT Center in the near future.

A conversation ensued about how to describe various kinds of housing, and a number of perspectives were presented. It was decided that Sharon will send Les a list of housing distinctions that are used in the senior housing circles. Allen will review that list with Les and they will pick the specific descriptors to be used on the final survey.

Education sub-committee Report: The committee hosted a viewing of Gen Silent on. The sub-committee also discussed the scope of the training this group will provide. That is an open conversation. It was also reported that we need to explore the needs of the LGBTQ community.

LGBT 101 Training will be conducted by Les after the next committee meeting for anyone interested. Upon completion of that training program, those people will be able to be added to the list of SAGE Ambassadors.

It was reported that SAGE national will likely be able to provide for us a half-day or full-day training at no charge. Les will discuss options with SAGE and will share that information with the sub-committee, and details will be reported at the next meeting.

Housing Sub-committee held one informal meeting. They will be scheduling another meeting to be held in the next month.

May 10 Day at the Legislature: Les, Bill, Joseph, J attended. Our group was represented as part of the Coalition on Aging and hosted a table. We were reminded that the work we are doing is political. While there was very little contact with legislators, we were recognized as a part of the group providing elder services.

There was a Webinar on National Housing Development held last Thursday, hosted by Enterprise Community Partners. Bob F. attended the webinar live, and Les listened to it as well. What stood out to both is the commitment that is necessary to provide the kind of housing we are focusing on and the amount of time that is necessary to prevail. Les will send out the link to all members of the committee. We may be able organize a group to listen to a presentation of that session.

New business: Allan suggested that it is time to develop a plan and a timeline, to create goals and goalposts. There was agreement about this recommendation.

The next meeting will be held at the LGBT Center of Raleigh at 2 PM July 10, 2016. After that meeting we will have a presentation of the SAGE training LGBT 101.


Meeting Minutes April 2016

The SAGE Raleigh Housing Initiative Meeting
April 3, 2016, 2-3 PM
Submitted by Joseph Wheeler

Present: Les Geller, Sharon Kilpatrick, Jon Suddath, Bob Fesler, Nancy Ruffner, Allan Feinstein, Mark Bruno, Amy Farlow, Joseph Wheeler. Bill Tautphaeus, J Zirbel, Jerry Algozer, and Bill Lamb

Sharon Kilpatrick, Care Manager, joined the committee. Les recommended that for continuity the composition of the committee be limited to those who are currently attending meetings.

Minutes of last meeting were approved as written. It was announced that meeting minutes are being posted on the LGBT Center of Raleigh web site, under Programs/Sage/Housing Initiative.

Les reported on the meeting between him, Allan, Jerry and Greg Warren, DHIC Raleigh. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the city’s response to LGBT-friendly housing. Based on funding from block grants, the city is limited re: number and size of developments. The team asked what kind of information DHIC needs and were told income data points, related to qualifications of affordable income per regulations. Gregg Warren reported that he had just met with the people in San Diego who have just opened an LGBT-friendly housing facility. The key conclusion of that meeting is that Les thinks we should look for financing elsewhere.

If we can create a waiting list, they would be happy to consider people on that list. So the committee can provide information to people in our community to generate interest.

DHIC does not currently ask people who are in their housing or applying for their housing if they are LGBT. They are not interested in providing specific LGBT-friendly housing. They were very receptive to our providing training programs for their staff and the staffs in their developments.

It was apparent that they have not given much thought to the needs of LGBT persons, and they are open to our suggestions. We have the opportunity to cooperate with their staff to support setting direction for their efforts.

Les reported that the steering committee (Les, Jerry, Joseph) met and are suggesting that the committee might form into two working sub-committees:

  • Market-rate housing
  • Affordable Housing

J indicated interest in being on the steering committee, and she was added to that group. Bob suggested that each sub-committee have a representative on the steering committee. No decision was made on that recommendation.

The steering committee asked each committee member to consider and answer three questions:

  • How do you see yourself participating in accomplishing this mission?
  • What do you see as your role on the committee?
  • What kind of contributions would you like to make?

A significant conversation ensued with all members expressing their interests, skills, and commitments.

It was noted that a number of people expressed interest in training, so a training sub-committee was formed with the following people volunteering to be in that group: J Zirbel, Mark Bruno, Bill Tautphaeus, Amy Farlow, Nancy Ruffner, Bob Fesler, and Joseph Wheeler.

The following people volunteered to conduct research on housing: Amy Farlow, Sharon Kilpatrick, Allan Feinstein, and Bill Lamb.

Les announced that in preparation for Out! Raleigh, he ordered printed information from Sage, and we will also be printing a Sage Raleigh brochure. The committee reviewed the survey to be used at Out! Raleigh, with suggestions for a few minor revisions. The following people volunteered to hand out surveys at Out! Raleigh: Mark Bruno, Bill Lamb, Bob Fesler, J Zirbel, Jerry Algozer, Les Geller, and Joseph Wheeler.

The following people volunteered to review the Affordable Housing Improvement Plan and summarize it at next meeting: Allan Feinstein and Amy Farlow.

The Initiative’s Mission and Vision will be available at all future meetings.

The next meeting is scheduled to be held Sunday, May 1, at 2 PM.

Meeting Minutes March 2016

The SAGE Raleigh Housing Initiative Meeting
March 6, 2016, 2-3 PM
Submitted by Victoria Plesca, March 9, 2016.


  • Les Geller, Committee Organizer
  • Bill Tautphaeus
  • Mark Bruno
  • Elizabeth Stuart
  • Joseph Wheeler
  • J Zirbel
  • Brad Batch
  • Amy Farlow
  • Nancy Ruffner
  • Bob Fesler
  • John Suddath
  • Victoria Plesca

The meeting started with a word of welcome by Les Geller - the Committee Organizer. After that all participants briefly introduced themselvesand shared their preferred-gender pronouns (PGP’s) they would like to be referred to.

Brad Batch provided the information about how to get in touch with people with limited or no computer access.The recent research data showed that about four-in-ten adults ages 65 and older (39%) do not use internet, compared with only 3% of 18-to 29-year-olds. Several tasks and tactics were presented that would help to contact LGBT Seniors and get our survey in their hands.


Create a Master List and Mailing List by using or combining the following:

  • The Center’s mailing list;
  • The lists of partner organizations;
  • The lists of associated organizations and/or
  • The lists of faith or other not associated by sympathetic organizations.


  • Send out notices by direct mail;
  • Make personal calls to target groups to ask for their help;
  • Make presentations to groups;
  • Place notices in publications and newsletters;
  • Develop a public service announcement and release it;
  • Ask other organizations for assistance;
  • Ask professional/educational parties for advice;
  • Have a physical presence at fairs, meetings, and other public events;
  • Design and distribute posters and flyers to appropriate organizations/locations;
  • Word of Mouth - encouraging individuals to inform/encourage others they may know to participate.

Brad also contacted the leaders from San Diego, San Francisco and Chicago LGBT centers to ask them for information and resources they may have available. So far he hasonly heard back from Chicago LGBT Center, unfortunately they lost connection with the people who initially started the project. Hopefully the other centers will reach out to us soon.

It was announced that Sage joined the NC Coalition on Aging.

John Suddath met with Bill Lamb, a key figure in the annual NC Conference on Aging and a valuable resource to SAGE Raleigh Housing Initiative. Bill serves the aging Tar Heels on the boards of Friends of Residents in Long Term Care, Resources for Seniors in Wake County, and the North Carolina Coalition on Aging. He will be agreat asset towards achieving our goals.

J met with the representatives of the Center on Halsted, during her trip to Chicago. They are willing to set up a phone call and share their experience and knowledge

Les visited the Pride Center in FL, where they are working on an affordable retirement development for adults over 62. The campus will consist of140 assisted living units where the LGBT community can age in peace and in acceptance.It is still in its planning stages and they are looking for more federal funds and private investors, but we believe that they have no choice but success.

Les also got a lead about an old Victorian house in Apex. The owner is thinking to convert it into an LGBT friendly assisted living housing, but it wouldneed a lot of resources to get it ready.

The following volunteered to work at our table at OutRaleigh by handing out the housing survey: Bob Wenz, Mark Bruno, Paul (?), J (?). We will need more folks for this task.

Jerry Algozer was named the Co-organizer/Vice Chair for the SAGE Raleigh Housing Initiative.

The importance of the survey being advertised was noted.

Joe Wheeler agreed to start the preparation for the focus group session that will be conducted soon. In order to get quality data Joe wants to be confident that the chosen sample is truly representative of the entire community.

Bob Fesler suggested the meeting minutes to be stored on the LGBT website, which was gladly approved by the SAGE Raleigh Housing Initiative attendees.

Action Items:

  • Elizabeth will provide a summary for levels of care which will be distributed to all group members.
  • J will connect with representatives of the Center on Halsted in Chicago and set up a online phone call conference.
  • Joseph will set up the initial procedures for the focus group.
  • Les will see that the meeting minutes appear on the SAGE web page every month.
  • Les will arrange for survey to appear on SAGE web page when ready.
  • Les will send survey to all committee members.
  • We will continue to lobby for more volunteers to hand out surveys at OutRaleigh.

Outstanding action items from the previous meeting will be reported on at the next meeting.

The Next meeting is scheduled for Sunday, April 3, 2-3 PM at the LGBT Center of Raleigh.

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