SEATTLE — A new development on Broadway between Pike and Pine in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood hopes to serve as a cornerstone for intergenerational care and education among members of Seattle's LGBTQIA+ community.
Pride Place, a collaboration between nonprofit GenPRIDE and Community Roots Housing, will offer 118 units of LGBTQIA+ affirming housing for seniors, along with a clinic, services, and GenPRIDE offices.
GenPRIDE was founded in 2015 following a report that showed disparities in services for LGBTQIA+ seniors. The new facility will fall in line with the organization's mission.
"One of the things we found for seniors was there just wasn't comfort going into senior centers because they didn't know if they were safe there, if they could be out in that environment," said GenPRIDE Executive Director Steven Knipp. "That really led a lot of seniors to not get the services most seniors get. They weren't accessing social services and other things. This led to a number of health disparities and issues they didn't really need to be facing."
Knipp said they wanted to open affordable housing in the heart of Capitol Hill, which he described as the historic center of LGBTQ life in Seattle for decades. The project was approved by the city in 2019, and construction is now underway.
"It's really exciting because there's going to be a sense of belonging and acceptance in this space," explained Knipp.
GenPRIDE is raising $5 million to buy their 4,400-square-foot ground floor community and health services center.
Knipp said Community Roots Housing brought together eight LGBTQ-focused nonprofits to form an advisory team with involvement in the design decisions, including community forums to comment on the building, apartments, amenities and services GenPRIDE could provide.
GenPRIDE is looking forward to opening a center where it can provide resources, learn more about what the community is looking for, and enter the next phase of its life as an organization.
"One thing we realized is that GenPRIDE has been a mostly white-led organization, so we are really making an effort to reach out to BIPOC and other organizations to help influence and be a voice at GenPRIDE to bring the kinds of programs that are relevant to their communities so we can have an active, vibrant center that is providing the kind of things that seniors need," said Knipp.
GenPRIDE has raised $3.2 million of the $5 million composing their capital campaign. Their next fundraiser, Pillars of Pride, is on May 15 and will honor LGBTQ elders.