Approach to programming
Who We Are
Ariel Mellinger, Community Wellness and Services Supervisor
Sylvia Vargas, Manager of Community Engagement Programs
Liz Copp, Program Assistant
Michelle Alcedo, Director of Programs
News & Updates
We thrive on the tradition of social connection and public gatherings to combat loneliness and isolation among LGBTQ+ seniors — a population that is at high risk in the best of times. COVID-19, like the HIV/AIDS pandemic that defined an earlier LGBTQ+ generation, threatens to separate us again, keeping us alone and isolated. For the sake of seniors who survived one pandemic when young, we must remain vigilant to keep them safe from another deadly virus in old age. Since March 2020, Openhouse staff and volunteers have made over 5,500 support calls to LGBTQ+ seniors to reassure them that social distancing does not mean social isolation. Openhouse CDEP interventions have moved to virtual programming with technical support from peers, volunteers, and staff. We continue to expand our emotional support groups to meet our community’s needs in the pandemic.
We have launched a partnership with Mon Ami, a company specializing in coordinating companionship and assistance for seniors. Mon Ami has stepped forward to donate their time and technology to ensure we can quickly match volunteers and seniors from the LGBTQ+ community. Volunteers will support community members with check-in calls, grocery runs, and extra support. Openhouse staff works to connect community members with this assistance and support volunteers every step of the way. Together with Mon Ami, Openhouse has provided 531 errand runs from volunteers, totaling 765 volunteer hours for 100 of our most isolated community members.