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Sunday December 10th 2017

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Spirit on Lake Grand Opening

IMG_7465Alley Collaborated News

Spirit on Lake opened and celebrated the region’s first housing (46 units) built to serve older members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community and the new home of Quatrefoil Library, one of the few libraries in the country specializing in materials for GLBT patrons.

Spirit on Lake began due to the inspiration of GLBT Generations and the United Church of Christ congregation Spirit of the Lakes Church which had purchased and remodeled the Grossman Chevrolet auto body shop for a worship sanctuary, education center and meeting place.

The church decided to use the property to serve the broader GLBT community; GLBT Generations was delving into issues of aging for the first openly out generation of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender elders. That originating focus made this project unique in the Upper Midwest. The drastic fluctuations in the housing market resulted in abandoning the original plans of a co-op housing ownership as many of the original enlistees lost their house equities.

Resiliency, perseverance, and institutional creativity led the project to a rental model instead and Spirit of the Lakes merging with Minnehaha UCC at 4001 38th Ave. So., Mpls with the new name Living Table UCC.

Poverty and instability can become serious problems as GLBT people age, due to estrangement from families of origin and uncertainty about being “out” among new neighbors and/or caregivers. Compared to the general population of the same age, GLBT seniors are twice as likely to be single and four times as likely to be without children. This population also has twice the poverty rate and are twice as likely to delay health care due to economic concerns, compared to the senior population in general.

The October 30th event included building tours and program with Barbara Satin of GLBT Generations as MC and speakers including Representative Karen Clark, Senator Scott Dibble, Council Member Gary Schiff, Minnesota Housing Commissioner Mary Tingerthal,and Living Table UCC Pastor James Pennington.

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