Melodia Gutierrez and Cannon Flowers of Coalition for Aging LGBT received a $30,000 check from Charles Mullins.

Coalition for Aging LGBT, Resource Center get donations for work with seniors

DAVID TAFFET | Senior Staff Writer

Ministry with the Aging Inc. has donated a total of $80,000 to organizations in the LGBT community providing programming and services for older LGBT people.

The ministry recently presented a check for $30,000 to the Coalition for Aging LGBT and a check for $50,000 to Resource Center. The donations came from proceeds from the sale of Cathedral Gardens Apartments in East Dallas.

CfA recently published its North Texas LGBT-Friendly Senior Housing Guide rating senior living properties on their LGBT inclusiveness in everything from employment policies to marketing to competency training. The guide, published for the first time in 2018, includes information on 17 properties spread out over four counties in North Texas.

Brian Price, who headed the project, wants to include additional properties in the 2019 guide while continuing to monitor the facilities included in 2018.

Because part of the rating includes on-going LGBT-inclusive competency training and programming, expanding those services will cost money. That’s where the Ministry with the Aging’s donation comes in.

Coalition founder Cannon Flowers said the project currently is running on 40 volunteers. With the recent donation, he said, “we can bring on a person part-time to manage scoring, the assessment process including HR forms and records and training staff.”

He said the social engagement portion of the project costs the coalition about $400 per facility, just for books and videos to get them started.

Charles Mullins, a board member for the Ministry with the Aging, which is operated as a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas, said the Cathedral

Gardens property needed renovation that his organization was not prepared to handle. So they sold the property to a national organization that would rehab the units and maintain the property as affordable senior housing.

Mullins said they decided to take the proceeds and distribute the money to local organizations that worked to facilitate affordable senior housing. They made donations to nine organizations including CfA and Resource Center.

Mullins said he heard about the Coalition for Aging LGBT on a public service announcement on KERA-FM. He told the coalition that its work was exactly what the board had in mind for the funds from the liquidated asset.

“That’s a really useful tool,” Mullins said about the housing guide. “If you do find affordable housing, how welcoming is it?”

He said he hoped the organization would be able to hire someone part-time to do research and outreach.

The donation to Resource Center targeted its Grey Pride organization, and Resource Center CEO Cece Cox said the funds will be used to fund Grey Pride, which “doesn’t get any government funding.” She said the money will go toward events, information and community building activities that wouldn’t have happened without the generous donation.