The LGBT Elder Initiative (LGBTEI) is committed to assuring that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older adults have rights and opportunities to live vibrant, creative and mutually supportive lives. To achieve this vision, the mission of the LGBTEI is to foster and advocate for services and resources that are competent, culturally sensitive, inclusive and responsive to the needs of LGBT elders in the Delaware Valley and beyond.
The LGBTEI is dedicated to building bridges between Aging and LGBT service and community organizations and consumers through advocacy, information, education and referral.
The Elder Initiative is a grass-roots organization comprised of volunteers of all ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, sexual orientations and gender identities. Members of the EI are consumers, aging services providers, LGBT services providers and community groups and organizations of all types.
The LGBT Elder Initiative was founded in October 2010 as a result of the LGBT Senior Summit. A community needs survey was conducted preceding the summit. That survey identified physical and emotional health services, housing, case management and social services, and social networking as the most pressing needs of LGBT elders in the Delaware Valley.
Based on the recommendations approved at the Summit, the LGBTEI was formed, with a Working Group as its core. The Working Group consists of consumers, representatives of the area agencies on aging, other aging service organizations, LGBT service and community organizations and representatives of local government agencies.
The LGBTEI Board of Directors is chaired by Heshie Zinman and the Vice-chair is Sandra Thompson. Juan Baez is the Secretary and Howard Childs is the Treasurer. The other members of the Board are: Ada Bello, Anthony Buividas, Janet Burnham, Lee Carson, Helen Dow, Kevin Hook, Han Meadway, Bob Schoenberg, Amy Steerman, Sandra Thompson, and David Webber.