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Bristol-based CCCI Secures Grant to Promote Inclusivity Among LGBT Elders

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Bristol-based Connecticut Community Care (CCCI) has been awarded the third year of a multi-year $225,000 grant “Getting it Right: Creating an LGBT Responsive Organization” from The John H. and Ethel G. Noble Charitable Trust.

This most recent award for $75,000 will provide CCCI with the opportunity to continue its leadership role in developing and implementing programs for aging services providers to help them become open and affirming in serving LGBT clients. A cornerstone of the initiative is a 20-page guidebook, Becoming an LGBT Responsive Organization, that includes sample talking points and scenarios.

“We are incredibly grateful to The Noble Charitable Trust for supporting our efforts to promote inclusivity for LGBT elders,” said Molly Rees Gavin, President of Connecticut Community Care. LGBT elders who came of age when it was common to stigmatize and discriminate against LGBT persons are concerned about the erosion of their rights. This grant paves the way for us to continue to implement inclusive practices throughout our organization as well as to share resources with others, helping to broaden impact of the inclusivity message. Getting it Right is an opportunity for us to make a difference.”

According to SAGE (Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Elders), recent estimates suggest that at least 1.5 million lesbian, gay or bisexual people 65 and older live in the US, and this population will double by the year 2030.

Many face uncertain futures based on employment discrimination, physical and mental health disparities, social isolation, and the fact that many mainstream aging providers do not account for the unique and growing needs of this aging demographic.

A recent national survey of LGBT older adults in long-term care facilities found that 22% of respondents felt they could be open about their identities with facility staff, 89% predicted that staff would discriminate based on their sexual orientations and/or gender identities, and 43% reported instances of mistreatment.

As a nonprofit care management organization dedicated to helping people receive needed care at home in their own communities, Connecticut Community Care is seen as an alternative to nursing home care.

“We are incredibly committed to ensuring that our team of care managers is sensitive to the needs of our clients starting with the first phone call or home visit,” said Rees Gavin. “Getting it Right has allowed us to expand our professional training to make our team aware of the unique needs of LGBT elders. We are in business to help make life easier for all those wishing to live life on their own terms, at home and in their own communities.”

According to Joan Twiggs, PhD who was hired by CCCI as project coordinator for the “Getting it Right” initiative, “we have worked diligently and carefully to achieve goals that are groundbreaking in terms of bringing awareness to the needs of the aging LGBT client. I am pleased to know this work will continue now that CCCI has been awarded the third portion of the Noble Grant.”

Twiggs specializes in work with nonprofits and is a founding member of the LGBT Aging Advocacy Group along with CCCI and other organizations.

She has been instrumental in assisting CCCI with examining and refining business practices to ensure that they are open and affirming in key areas including governance, human resources, communications, advocacy, education, intake and clinical practices.

Connecticut Community Care (est. 1980) is a private not-for-profit organization driven by the life goals, choices and needs of more than 15,000 individuals.

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