State Senator Jeffrey Klein is greeted by SAGE Bronx Center manager José Collazo. | COURTESY: SAGE
In an event marking National Coming Out Day on October 11, SAGE, or Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders, welcomed State Senator Jeffrey Klein and City Councilmember Ritchie Torres, to its Bronx Center on East 188th Street. Klein was on hand to present the group with a check for $150,000 in state funding for the 82-unit Crotona North Apartments being developed in the borough’s Crotona section to provide LGBT-supportive housing opportunities — including social services and an on-site SAGE Center — for seniors.
Crotona North has a $38 million price tag and is being developed in partnership with HELP USA, a nationwide leader in homelessness prevention and permanent supportive housing, the city’s Housing Development Corporation, and New York State Homes and Community Renewal. The project had earlier received $1.2 million in support from Torres, who is the out gay chair of the Council’s Public Housing Committee,M and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.
The development is due to begin construction next year and open by 2019. Eligibility requirements for tenants are that they are 60 or older and have incomes of no more than 50 percent of the area median income, or $36,250 for a couple and $31,750 for a single person.
“It’s so important that our LGBT seniors spend their golden years with friends and receive the support they need,” Klein said. “SAGE truly meets the needs of our LBGT senior population.”
“LGBT elders in the Bronx are fortunate to have an amazing champion in Senator Jeff Klein,” said Michael Adams, SAGE’s CEO.
“LGBT elders face a number of issues that they must confront, oftentimes alone and without resources,” Torres said. “SAGE’s work and advocacy efforts ensure that this population confront their older years with dignity and respect, and Senator Klein’s leadership in securing $150,000 for SAGE is crucial to make sure this work moves forward.”