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SAGE Atlanta announces referral help line for LGBT seniors

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Specifically geared toward LGBT seniors, the Health Initiative's SAGE Atlanta program offers a variety of services for Atlanta's LGBT elders. Today, the program announced a new information and referral service it hopes will connect those in need with more than 25,000 local providers.

Originally founded in 1996 by Dennie Doucher, Sherry Hale and Linda McGehee as the Atlanta Lesbian Cancer Initiative, the Health Initiative has gone through a series of changes in its 17-year history, but its focus has always centered around health and wellness.

Information and Referral Assistance will allow those in need to find solutions that match unique needs, such as income and other factors, the Health Initiative says. I&R/A will be a free service thanks to a grant from the Atlanta Regional Commission. It's also open to those with disabilities, not just elders.

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$31,000 raised for Atlanta’s LGBT Rush Center

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The Phillip Rush Center begins expansion plans Monday into an approximate 1,700 square foot space in a building located directly behind its current location in Candler Park thanks to more than $31,000 raised at a reception on Saturday.

Linda Ellis, executive director of the Health Initiative, is co-director of the Rush Center with Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality. She explained Saturday that the expansion was needed because the Rush Center has outgrown its space at 1530 DeKalb Ave. as more and more LGBT organizations, such as the Rainbow Center, which serves and advocates for LGBT Jewish people and families, seek permanent office space. The expansion is also to meet the needs of a statewide survey of LGBT residents.

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CDC: Lesbian, gay domestic violence rates same or higher than heterosexuals

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New data released by the CDC on Jan. 25 shows what LGBT domestic violence educators already know: intimate partner violence is as big a problem for our community as for heterosexuals, though it is often not taken as seriously by the media or mainstream advocacy groups.

“We know that violence affects everyone, regardless of sexual orientation. This report suggests that lesbians, gay men and bisexuals in this country suffer a heavy toll of sexual violence and stalking committed by an intimate partner.” said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden in a press release about the report. “While intervening and providing services are important, prevention is equally critical.”

Today's report marks the first time the CDC has released national data about intimate partner violence, sexual violence and stalking broken down by sexual orientation.