Shanti Project

LGBT Aging & Abilities Support Network (LAASN)

Shanti Volunteer and ClientSocial isolation affects many LGBT seniors and adults with disabilities as they deal with stigma, discrimination, and lack of community in their daily lives and in our country's system of care. As a result, LGBT seniors and adults with disabilities are at risk of falling deeper into depression and further into isolation – conditions that have been proven to decrease overall health outcomes. These conditions are amplified among LGBT seniors and adults with disabilities who are low-income, physically frail, and among people of color and transgender individuals.

To respond to the growing population of LGBT seniors and a greater demand for support services, the LGBT Aging and Abilities Support Network (LAASN) was created. LAASN provides supportive services that address social isolation as well as emotional, behavioral, and health challenges faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender seniors and adults with disabilities.


Care Navigation
Shanti Care Navigators are the main point of contact for clients and provide services that include intakes, ongoing assessment, care coordination, information and referral, support group facilitation, practical assistance, emotional support, and peer support volunteer matches.

Peer Support
Peer support services, including peer support matches, provide emotional support and practical assistance through regular interactions with clients. Forms of support are based on each client’s individual needs and can include social visits, accompaniment to appointments or events, and practical assistance. Peer support is provided by trained volunteers, interns, and staff. LAASN’s peer support network provides innovative service delivery for a target population that may be reluctant to seek traditional health and social services due to a history of discrimination and marginalization.

Shanti Volunteer and Client

Support Programming
In partnership with Curry Senior Center, LAASN offers connective programs that support and enhance the emotional and behavioral well-being of underserved LGBT older adults. Support programs include individual emotional and behavioral support, peer support groups, social activities, outreach, education, and early intervention programs.

To be eligible for LAASN services, clients must live in San Francisco, self-identify as LGBT, and be a senior (60+) and/or an adult (18+) with a disability.

For more information, contact Joanne Kipnis, MSW, Program Director at 415.625.5214 or via eMail or,
Matthew Simmons, Care Navigator at 415.625.5203 or via eMail.

LGBT Supportive Programming
Check out activities at Curry Senior Center!

The LGBT Aging & Abilities Support Network is made possible by funding from the City and County of San Francisco’s Department of Aging and Adult Services.