Givens Communities is now accredited for its policies and practices dedicated to the equitable treatment and inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered residents, visitors and employees.
The achievement comes from a benchmark national survey of residential long-term care and senior housing communities by SAGE USA, an advocacy group for seniors who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization.
Givens Communities, comprised of Givens Estates and Givens Gerber Park in Asheville, Givens Highland Farms in Black Mountain and Givens Great Laurels in Waynesville, were collectively given the designation as an LGBTQ+ Long-Term Care Equality Index High Performer.
“Givens Communities is committed to providing communities that are safe and respectful environments where people can live, work, and thrive. We are proud of being recognized in the LEI index as an Equality High Performer, of achieving a Platinum level certification from SageCARE, and of all the many positive steps we have taken over the past several years to be affirming to the LGBTQIA+ community,” said Christian Grunder, vice-president of human resources for the senior living communities and a local leader in diversity, equity and inclusion issues.
The announcement comes just before Pride Month, celebrated each year in June to recognize and honor pivotal moments and people in the history of gay rights and culture.
“We are so grateful to have a generous and committed partner in Givens Communities, said Amy Upham, Executive Director of Blue Ridge Pride, an advocacy group for Western North Carolina’s LGBTQ and allied communities. “From their generous sponsorship of our programs and festival, to their collaboration with our GenPlus program in providing DEI education to their residents and staff, to their LGBTQ+ affinity group, which has full circle connections back to attendance at our GenPlus events, we couldn’t ask for a better partner for the older members of our community. They embody the definition for us of an LGBTQ+ ally.”
The SAGE and Human Rights Campaign’s Long-Term Care Index measured the following areas in senior housing settings:
- Non-Discrimination and Staff Training
- Resident Services and Support
- Employee Benefits and Policies
- Resident and Community Engagement
“With anti-LGBTQ+ extremism on the rise, it is more important than ever to create safer spaces and that includes the places where we age,” said Kelley Robinson, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “Our older LGBTQ+ community – the ones whose shoulders we stand on – are so often forgotten, and they deserve more from all of us.”
Givens Communities is a leader in senior living opportunities, life enrichment and quality of life services in Western North Carolina. For more information, go to www.givenscommunities.org.