HomeSharing Program at Center on Halsted – Innovative Program for Aging LGBT Community

Center on Halsted has
launched nation’s first
LGBT homesharing program!

From Beginner’s French to twice-weekly lunches, SAGE Center on Halsted  has a wide variety of programs and services for individuals 55 and older.

A $475,000 federal grant is allowing SAGE to carry out a number of special projects. From a groundbreaking survey of Chicagoland LGBT older adults to a new film on HIV prevention to exciting day trips, it’s a pretty special time to become involved with SAGE!

But even beyond SAGE, officials at the Center on Halsted recently unveiled the nation’s first LGBT homesharing program, matching up LGBT seniors with younger renters who can help with chores and other support services in exchange for reduced rent.

For a growing number of persons faced with losing their independence and struggling to keep housing costs within their budget, shared housing is an affordable and viable alternative. Shared housing offers companionship, affordable housing, security, mutual support and much more.

“I truly believe in this program,” said Britta Larson, homesharing manager at the Center. “We really have put a lot of time and effort into making sure this program is the very best it can be.”

DID YOU KNOW?  LGBT senior adults, are twice as likely to be single and three to four times more likely to be without children than their heterosexual counterparts? That lack of a family support makes it more difficult for LGBT seniors to continue living independently as they age, Larson said.

“Aging for the LGBT community is particularly challenging,” Larson said. “This community is facing financial hardships.”

Being lonely is hard for everybody, regardless of the gender or orientation. Loneliness is  a  huge problem for many LGBT seniors – a Chicago-based needs assessment survey ranked isolation as the No. 1 concern of LGBT older adults.

The Center’s role, which is provided free of charge, is to help match up potential applicants with each other.

Homesharing applicants who wish to rent space
must have a minimum of two bedrooms in their apartment, condominium or home.

Applicants who want to rent
must have an income of at least $750 per month and be willing to assist with household tasks.

The extent of the duties of the renters is negotiated between the two parties and will vary depending on the needs of the LGBT senior and other factors. Some seniors may need more help with household tasks than others, while some may just be looking for a few extra dollars a month to help pay off mortgages or other bills.

Homesharing has become increasingly popular but Larson said this is the first formal homesharing program in the U.S. to target LGBT seniors. It matches up applicants who wish to take on a renter with someone who is willing to live with an older adult and take on some household tasks.

The Center’s role, which is provided free of charge, is to help match up potential applicants with each other, thoroughly screen all applicants through reference checks and background checks and to provide ongoing support the homesharing matches.

“Each applicant has a really strong role in who they’re matched with,” Larson said. “There will be an agreement worked out between the two parties talking about responsibilities and things like shared space.”

For information on SAGE and the homesharing program go to  or call 773-472-6469