Jewish Community Services’ Commitment to the LGBT Community
by Joan Schaeffer
JCS Liaison to the LGBT Community
Jewish Community Services is much more than an organization improving the quality of life for those in need of support and assistance: JCS strengthens our community by enhancing peoples’ lives, and empowers individuals that have often been marginalized and forgotten.
JCS’ newest initiative, a natural extension of its mission to serve all South Floridians, is targeted to seniors who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT). Many came of age when being ‘different’ made them feel ostracized and isolated, unable to ‘be themselves’ in a world that judged them harshly. They often faced incredible obstacles, not just from society at large, but from their families, loved ones, employers and colleagues. While we have made significant advances, challenges often remain. Many LGBT seniors are still trying to find their way.
This is why JCS, as a lifeline to all, is helping them confront issues so they will be treated equally. It’s outreach objectives, inclusive of all LGBT children, adolescents, adults and seniors, have been expressed as community building, and include:
- Counseling for individuals, couples and families
- Support groups addressing their unique circumstances
- Community outreach such as educational presentations and training programs
- Assistance with securing appropriate housing
- Social activities that aid with isolation, physical and emotional needs, along with the development of supportive environments to meet old friends and develop new relationships.
As a valuable community resource, JCS encourages those seeking participation to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 305.608.0937.
JCS is here to enhance the lives of all South Floridians, regardless of their age, religion, ethnic background, income level, gender or sexual orientation.