News Briefs: Openhouse gets $2M grant from Yield Giving

  • by Cynthia Laird, News Editor
  • Wednesday March 27, 2024
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Kathleen Sullivan, Ph.D., executive director of Openhouse, was pleased the agency has received a $2 million gift from Yield Giving. Photo: Courtesy Openhouse
Kathleen Sullivan, Ph.D., executive director of Openhouse, was pleased the agency has received a $2 million gift from Yield Giving. Photo: Courtesy Openhouse

Openhouse, the San Francisco-based nonprofit that provides LGBTQ senior services, announced that it has received $2 million from MacKenzie Scott's Yield Giving program.

The award to Openhouse was part of $640 million given to 361 small nonprofits, according to the Associated Press.

A news release from Openhouse noted that Yield Giving's open funding call was for groups working with people and in places experiencing the greatest need in the U.S.

Scott is the former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. She has been distributing financial grants from the fortune she received in their divorce and launched Yield Giving in December 2022.

Openhouse, founded in 1998, enables San Francisco Bay Area older LGBTQs to overcome the unique challenges they face as they age, the release noted. It provides housing, direct services, and community programs.

"In the near future, Openhouse will be the largest provider of LGBTQ+ affordable housing for older adults in the nation," Kathleen Sullivan, Ph.D., a lesbian who is executive director of the nonprofit, stated in the release. "This gift is a great start to our capital campaign for that project and will ensure that we can create the most beautiful welcoming space for our community."

Sullivan was referring to Openhouse's new affordable housing project that will have 185 units in a 15-story building, according to plans submitted to the city in 2022, as the Bay Area Reporter previously reported. It will be the third such development specifically geared for LGBTQ seniors in the city.

The project is to be built at 1939 Market Street and estimated to cost $106,117,600. The city acquired the triangular 7,840 square foot lot at Market and Duboce Avenue in 2020 for $12 million from the Sheet Metal Workers Local 104. The union plans to vacate the property nearer to when construction of the new building will begin.

In 2021, the Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development chose affordable housing developer Mercy Housing and Openhouse to partner on the project. The agencies partnered on the 119-units of LGBTQ-welcoming affordable senior housing split between the buildings at 55 and 95 Laguna Street.

The campus also includes Openhouse's offices at 65 Laguna and a new community center it built out at 75 Laguna. It is a short walk from the upper Market Street location of the new residential building that will include a ground floor commercial space.

The Yield Giving open call received 6,353 applications, and initially planned for 250 awards of $1 million each, Openhouse's release stated. After reviews, the donor team decided to expand the awardee pool and the award amount.

Other LGBTQ or HIV/AIDS organizations also received grants. They include: the Pacific Center for Human Growth in Berkeley ($2 million); MPact Global Action in Oakland ($1 million); the Sacramento LGBT Community Center ($1 million); the LGBTQ Center Long Beach ($2 million); the Wall Las Memories, an LGBTQ monument in Los Angeles ($1 million); The LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland ($2 million), and GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders in Boston ($1 million).

Tenderloin Tessie Easter dinner

Tenderloin Tessie will hold its annual free Easter dinner Sunday, March 31, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church, 1187 Franklin Street (at Geary Boulevard). Organizers said that all are welcome.

In addition to a meal, there will be live entertainment by Vanessa Bousay; free haircuts by LoveCuts, a pop-up barbershop; a free gift bag; and free clothing from St. Anthony's, Tenderloin Tessie's partner.

Volunteer shifts are available March 31 from 9 a.m. to noon, noon to 4 p.m., and 3 to 6 p.m. Interested people must show proof of COVID vaccination and an ID, organizers stated.

Helpers are also needed on Saturday, March 30, from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesday, April 2, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Both of these are for truck workers to help retrieve and then return supplies, organizers stated.

To volunteer, contact Michael Gagne, Tenderloin Tessie president, at (415) 584-3252 (landline, no text), or email [email protected]

Tenderloin Stations of the Cross

The annual Tenderloin Stations of the Cross will take place Friday, March 29, from noon to 2 p.m. People should meet in front of San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place.

The event is sponsored by Temenos Catholic Worker. Father River Sims with the organization noted that this is the 23rd year of the event. During the event, Sims will lead people through the Tenderloin for Good Friday.

For more information, email [email protected]

Trans visibility event

In addition to Easter Sunday, March 31 also marks the annual Transgender Day of Visibility to celebrate and recognize the achievements of trans, gender-nonconforming, intersex, and Two-Spirit individuals. In San Francisco, community members will hold a celebration at the Phoenix Hotel, 601 Eddy Street, with a brunch, show, and dance from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The brunch takes place at noon, followed by a show at 1 and a tea dance from 2 to 4.

A news release noted that this year, organizers seek to center the importance of trans joy as a form of resistance. In spite of many obstacles and attacks from right-wing leaders and others, the community continues to make significant contributions to society, such as arts and culture, activism, and advocacy.

The event is free, organizers told the B.A.R.

For more information, check out the event's Facebook page.

Benefit for East Bay AIDS garden

The East Bay Getting to Zero's POZ+ Committee, in collaboration with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and other organizations, will hold its first fundraiser for the East Bay AIDS Memorial Garden on Friday, March 29, from 7 to 11 p.m. at Nectar Social Club, 408 15th Street in downtown Oakland. There will be an after-party from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.

The event, called Taking Root, will feature food, live music, DJs, spoken word, art, auctions, and more, organizers stated in an email. In recognition of Women's History Month, there will be a panel discussion from 8 to 9 p.m. centered on women and HIV. Panelists include Diane Spain, Billie Cooper, and Karen Mourning.

There is a suggested donation of $15 at the door, though no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

To register, click here.

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