A New Apartment Complex for the Aging LGBT Population is Under Construction

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There is a new apartment building being built at the corner of West 117th and Madison in Cleveland. It will be an independent-living senior complex.  But what’s unique is the target demographic: older gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender and questioning  residents.

Ideastream’s Darrielle Snipes took a tour of the building named “A Place for Us”.

62 year-old Ken Akins is getting a chance to see what his apartment will look like, as he tours the model unit at A Place for Us Senior Housing.

Ken says he was one of the first to sign a lease. He wanted to live here because the building is LGBT inclusive – meaning the target demographic is gay, lesbian and transgender -- aged 55 years or older.

“Most gay people don’t have families and no children because this would be the perfect place,” said Akins.  “I can make new friends and it would be like a family for me and go to the activities at the place for us housing.”

Linda Krasienko will be the service coordinator at A Place for Us. She says she’s been working to build a gay friendly senior facility in Northeast Ohio for the last 20 years.  This building is independent living but will have a health clinic and amenities specific to the LGBT community.

“We will have HIV testing here and we will have special support groups here. Some people have lived in the closet,as the term is and are afraid to divulge who they are because of what can happen to them.”

About a half of the 55 units are already leased and the building isn’t even open yet. The complex manager says they are working with the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland to get the word out that this apartment building is gay friendly.

Joel Bassard will be the community manger and says there is a need to have an affordable senior complex for the LGBT community but all are welcome to live here, if they meet the income requirements.

The NRP group is building the nearly $9-million development and did receive tax credits from the state.  NRP will also manage the building located on the boarder of Cleveland and Lakewood.

Bassard says there will be activities and a terrace garden for those who live have a more community feel.

“Our goal is to make a safe environment that everyone is proud to call home,” he said.

That is what Ken says he is looking for in his next apartment, a place to be around others like him, so he can feel comfortable.  He’s move in date is in mid-October. For more information see the video story on Ideas.  

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