The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s ambitious Anita May Rosenstein Campus, opening in early 2019, is just the kind of project The Eisner Foundation wants to see more of.
In fact, as the only foundation dedicated to supporting intergenerational programming, The Eisner Foundation leaders were so impressed by the Center’s innovative plans for the groundbreaking campus, they donated $500,000 to help fund its construction.
“This campus will create a true community for people who may not have experienced very much of that in their lives,” says Trent Stamp, CEO of the foundation, which was launched in 1996 by former Walt Disney CEO Michael D. Eisner and his wife, Jane.
“We know that LGBT seniors are more likely to live alone and not have children or grandchildren, while the youth often have difficult relationships with their parents. These two groups can fill those roles for each other.”
The first-of-its-kind Rosenstein campus will span more than a city block in Hollywood when it opens in 2018. It will offer 135 units of affordable housing for seniors and youth, 100 beds for homeless youth, new youth and senior centers, and much more.
“While we see a lot of great intergenerational programs in our work, there aren’t many that specifically serve the LGBT population,” says Stamp. “There’s a real need for this and we’re impressed by the Center’s ambitious foresight to include interaction opportunities for youth and senior residents. Every generation of LGBT people has had a different experience here in the U.S., but it’s often not easy.”
The Center’s intergenerational programming already includes an annual photo project in which seniors and youth are paired with each other to develop photography skills and produce work that is exhibited in the Center’s galleries. It also offers a mentoring program in which trained adults are matched with youth who are looking for guidance and support from an LGBT adult. The new campus, however, will offer many more opportunities.
“We’re grateful to The Eisner Foundation for more than their generous support, we’re grateful for their validation of our innovative intergenerational plans,” said Center CEO Lorri L. Jean. “At our new Anita May Rosenstein Campus, LGBT youth and seniors won’t just have an affordable place to live, they’ll learn together and thrive together in a facility unlike any other in the world.”
The foundation gives an estimated $7 million per year to nonprofit organizations in Los Angeles County and in 2015 became the only foundation in the U.S. to focus exclusively on investing in intergenerational solutions.
“Intergenerational programs are some of the most efficient out there—instead of serving one population, you can empower two populations to help each other,” Stamp says. “There are real, tangible benefits to this. Younger people do better in school when there’s a caring adult in their life, and seniors who feel purpose live longer, healthier lives.”