New York City has opened the first senior citizens center in the United States dedicated exclusively to homosexuals under an initiative sponsored by the mayor's office.
"We considered it the first full-time, full-service senior center for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual) seniors in the US," said Christopher Miller, a spokesman for the city's Department of Aging.
The SAGE Center was officially inaugurated on Thursday in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, one of eight initiatives launched by the city to improve the lives of the elderly. Another initiative targets the blind.
The center offers programs related to art and culture, food and nutrition and health and welfare, said officials for SAGE, a non-governmental organization dedicated to providing services for gay elders. The organization will run the center under an agreement with the city.
"The SAGE Center seeks to ensure that LGBT older adults in all five boroughs can age in good health, financially secure and with broad community support," a statement from the center said.
New York has the largest urban population of gays, lesbians or bisexuals in the country, according to the mayor's office.
Currently, 1.3 million elderly persons live in New York among a population of 8.17 million residents. Their numbers are expected to grow by 46 percent over the next 25 years.