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Visionary Govt Director Departs San Francisco’s Main LGBTQ+ Senior Serving Company – San Francisco Bay Instances

From Dr. Marcy Adelman-

Dr. Karyn Skultety, Executive Director of Openhouse, will step down from her position at the end of May. In her statement to the community, she said it was a family decision to move to Colorado. She wrote: “COVID-19 has forced us all to ask questions about ourselves, our families and our lives. It also reminded us of how quickly things change. My family and I are privileged in many ways, and we have managed to maintain that perspective even amid the tremendous challenges of the past year. Nevertheless, I am shaped by this pandemic. I’ve seen my children fight. I went through a COVID-19 fear with a family member that highlights my role as caregiver for my parents in old age. “

She continued, “I love being your manager. I love and call me at this time by the person I am outside of my work: a woman, mother, daughter, sister, and a LGBTQ + selected family member. “

Tim Sweeney, co-chair of the board of directors of Openhouse, said, “We are grateful for Karyn’s determined and competent leadership over the past four years, which has kept the organization beyond the strength, self-sufficiency and sustainable model of care includes embrace this transition. While we are saddened that she is leaving our family and community, we fully support her need to focus on the changing needs of her immediate and extended family. “

In the four years that Dr. Skultety was at Openhouse, she reshaped and reinvigorated the organization by advancing and empowering seniors, expanding services, creating new models of care, and delivering the kind of leadership that creates an environment where people feel seen and heard and cared around. Out of gratitude, the Openhouse board member honors Karyn by calling the balcony of the Openhouse Community Activity Center in 75 Laguna as Dr. Karyn Skultety Balcony.

Under Karyn’s leadership, open house seniors are honored and celebrated for their many accomplishments, and encouraged and supported to lead in all aspects of the community. Karyn elevates LGBTQ + seniors at every opportunity and urges the larger LGBTQ + community and beyond to do the same. Karyn said to me for the San Francisco Bay Times, “Our job and mission is to look at our LGBTQ + elders and let the world see the individuality, beauty and wisdom associated with age and living as who we really are. I look forward to welcoming a successor who will continue to focus on the voices and experiences of the LGBTQ + seniors we serve. “

Dr. Skultety also introduced racial justice training for all board members and employees. Karyn understands that it is up to leadership to set the bar by being proactive and using organizational resources to create a space where everyone can thrive.

Dr. Skultety led the organization in collaboration with Mercy Housing through the construction of the Openhouse Community Center at 75 Laguna and the 79 new residential units at 95 Laguna. Together with the 42 apartments in 55 Laguna, these 79 apartments form a total of 121 apartments in which LGBTQ + seniors are welcome – one of the largest LGBTQ + senior housing complexes in the country.

While Karyn was completing the open-house campus at Laguna 55-95, she also advanced the organization by providing services to the community. During her time as managing director, Dr. Skultety the number of LGBTQ + seniors available to more than 3000 parishioners. This includes both open house residents and older LGBTQ + adults from across the city.

The variety and number of services has grown exponentially, with programs that offer assistance in securing housing, making it easier to navigate the often confusing care system for older adults and adults with disabilities, to the voluntary program for home visitors, and a cornucopia of classes for fun , Conviviality and education.

In collaboration with On-Lok, Dr. Skultety is also the country’s first community-based adult daytime program developed for and with LGBTQ + elders. This is a much-needed program that includes services for seniors who are physically and cognitively disabled.

The pandemic delayed the opening of the Openhouse Community Center at 75 Laguna and thus the opening of this innovative program. The grand opening will hopefully take place sometime later this year. If this is the case, the day program for adults in the community will be put into operation and the Dr. Karyn Skultety Balcony opens – a fitting tribute to an extraordinary leader from a grateful congregation.

Dr. Marcy Adelman, LGBTQ + Long Longevity Psychologist and Policy Advisor, oversees aging in the community. She is a member of the California Commission on Aging, the board of directors of the Alzheimer Association of Northern California, the California Master Plan on Aging Equity Advisory Committee, and the San Francisco Dignity Fund Oversight and Advisory Committee. She is a co-founder of Openhouse, the only nonprofit in San Francisco dedicated solely to the health and wellbeing of older LGBTQ + adults.

Published on May 20, 2021

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