The SAGE Hotline offers national, 24/7 health and human service information and referrals for LGBT elders
The holidays can be a lonely time, especially for older LGBT people, who are less likely to have children and more likely to suffer from social isolation. That’s why SAGE, the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT elders, has partnered with United Way Worldwide to provide a national support hotline for LGBT older people and those who care for them. The SAGE Hotline provides information about community support resources such as healthcare, transportation, counseling, legal services, and emotional support programs. In addition, trained specialists are available for callers who just need someone to talk to. The support hotline, 1-877-360-LGBT (5428), is a free, 24/7 service that has available translation in 180 languages, and is available year-round.
“Prioritizing the needs of older LGBT people is at the core of our mission, and this hotline ensures that we are reaching elders who might be more isolated,” said SAGE CEO Michael Adams. “Having the SAGE Hotline available 24/7 will enable LGBT elders to receive support whenever they need it, wherever they live.”
United Way Worldwide leads efforts across the nation to improve access to human services through 211. People can simply dial 211 to talk with community specialists and find local resources, information, and assistance. 211 is a three-digit phone number designated by the FCC to provide health and human service information. “This partnership with SAGE is a natural collaboration of what SAGE does best—reaching LGBT elders—and what we do best: providing access to critical services in every community,” said Rachel Krausman, United Way Worldwide Senior Director of 211.
The SAGE Hotline will disseminate resource information about services available across the country and will help callers find programs that are LGBT friendly where available. Call specialists are certified in crisis response to help callers who may be experiencing an emotional or mental health crisis. If you or anyone you know needs help, please call 1-877-360-LGBT.
SAGE is the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older people. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBT older people and their caregivers. SAGE also advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT elders, provides education and technical assistance for aging providers and LGBT community organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, and cultural competency training through SAGECare. With staff located across the country, SAGE also coordinates SAGENet, a growing network of affiliates in the United States.
United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. Supported by 2.8 million volunteers, 9.8 million donors worldwide, and more than $4.7 billion raised every year, United Way is the world’s largest privately-funded nonprofit. We’re engaged in nearly 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories worldwide to create sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our communities. United Way partners include global, national and local businesses, nonprofits, government, civic and faith-based organizations, along with educators, labor leaders, health providers, senior citizens, students and more. For more information about United Way, please visit UnitedWay.org. Follow us on Twitter: @UnitedWay and #LiveUnited.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Diverse Elders Coalition.