Friday, August 28, 2015

Spring BBQ Benefit: LGBTQ Senior Housing in New York City

reporter/photographer: Miguel Dominguez

On May 14th, at the Chelsea home of Brian Delshad, a crowd of over one hundred New York City LGBT activists and supporters ate and drank and learned about the Stonewall Community Development Corporation (SCDC). SCDC’s goal is the creation of LGBTQ friendly and culturally competent supportive senior housing in New York City. They intend to pursue innovative strategies liked mixed income, cross subsidies and commercial developer partnerships to achieve this goal.

Incorporated as a non-profit community development corporation in 2013, SCDC received its federal exemption status this past fall and immediately began aggressive fundraising efforts. This “House Party” is the first in a series being planned for each borough and Fire Island in the upcoming months. The purpose of the parties is to raise funds, cultivate potential board and advisory board members and introduce the organization to the community.

SCDC Executive Director Paul Nagle, event sponsor Jon Del GIorno, event host Brian Delshad,
and Marianne Nicolosi, SCDC Board President.

Though the topic is serious the atmosphere was joyous as the crowd listened to short speeches by Board President Marianne Nicolosi, Board Members Brian Delshad and Jon Del Giorno and Executive Director Paul Nagle. They spoke of the well-documented challenges and discrimination LGBTQ seniors face in accessing senior housing and health care services. They spoke broadly of the new strategies they are pursuing and they stressed the need to outreach to and organize the community to make this happen.

Dave CastlemanMark Russo, Brian Delshad, Matthew JamesArtur Melentin, & Bill Radin

Marianne takes a bite

Brian Delshad and John Rosa at center, with friends

Chris Sullivan and Danny Romanoff

Danny RomanoffChris SullivanShane AJ CorreiaBrian Friedman, & Joe Cherner

The board of SCDC provides a breadth and depth of collective experience in: urban planning, real estate development, building management, government relations, capital projects with government funding, community organizing, community development, community boards, housing law, human rights, geriatric care, nursing and home care and non-profit management of LGBTQ organizations.

Dave Thielens with Philip McCarthy

Todd and Brian. In the background are Richard Pinto, the affair caterer, and his assistant.,

Mark Thompson and friend

Stephen Staffieri,  Jonathan S. LeWinter and Ron Chereskin

Ron Chereskin with Marcus Fiore

Zohar Keller

Martin Barna with John Von Herget

Bill Radin and Jonathan

Howard Goldfarb at left

Stuart Sussman and Laurent Seitz-Cherner

On the right, Todd Woolley Fleidner and Jon Del Giorno with friends

Brian Friedman to the left

Howard with Martin Barna and Matt Paco

Marianne speaks to the crowd

Statement from Marianne Nicolosi, Board President :

Three years ago, a group of LGBTQ activists sat down together to talk about aging in our community. I have over 30 years’ experience in geriatric service delivery, but even I had never considered some of the issues that came up that night. We decided to try and address these issues and soon after Stonewall Community Development Corporation was established.

Today, we have our 501c3 tax-exempt status, a strong Board of Directors and Board of Governors, and we are currently in discussions with developers about eight different sites around the City. Things are moving quickly, but not quickly enough for the thousands of LGBTQ elder folk in New York City who are facing daily discrimination in service delivery, being priced out of their own apartments, and facing the daunting challenges of navigating senior care services alone.

Our seniors put themselves on the line, breaking down barriers, and paving the way for the rest of our community to thrive with dignity, opportunity and freedom. As we ramp up this project, I encourage you to become involved either as a volunteer, as a donor or perhaps as a member of our Board of Governors. I have always found working with seniors to be an exciting and rewarding endeavor and I know you will as well.

Paul Nagle says a few words to the gathering

“We are determined to make the most of this unique moment in time and the opportunity it presents as New York City rallies to build an unprecedented number of affordable housing units. Seniors must be included and LGBT elders cannot be left behind,” said Nagle.

Jon Del Giorno has a few words for the audience

SCDC Board Members: Liz Abzug, Marianne Brennick, Brian Delshad, Jon Del Giorno, Erica Forman, Joe Hagelmann, Jay Kallio, Blaise McNair, Marianne Nicolosi, Juan Ignacio Rosa, Tom Smith, Mark Thompson, Robert Woodworth and Bob Zuckerman.
Executive Director: Paul Nagle

The event’s “Honorary Host” donors were Nathan Ayon, Erica Forman, John Rosa & Robert Woodworth. Sponsor level donors included: Dan Cochran, Jon Del Giorno, Ed Haggerty, Catherine Hough, William Radin, Lawrence Rich, Zack Stackell, David Thielens & Mark Thompson.


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