Our mission is to provide education, tools and resources
to improve the quality of life of LGBT people as they age.
Training to Serve (TTS) grew out of a 2007 survey done by the Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging (MAAA) in collaboration with researchers from the University of Minnesota and GLBT Generations (a local advocacy group on GLBT aging issues) to assess service provider readiness to work with this population. The survey results suggested that agencies are not adequately prepared to serve older GLBT people, but have a great interest in improving their skills to better serve this community.
In 2008 representatives from MAAA, GLBT Generations, University of Minnesota and MN Department of Human Services came together to develop the TTS training curriculum. The working group discussed various models for funding, hosting and marketing the curriculum. In February and March 2009, a facilitator led the working group through three strategic planning sessions. As a result of this work, it was decided to form a new independent organization called Training to Serve that would own, manage, and market the curriculum, with a mission of “assisting senior service providers with training and resources to ensure Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people are able to achieve a satisfying quality of life in later years.” Funding to support development of the initial curricula came from GLBT Generations, MAAA, PFund Foundation, and University of MN Research Assistantship.
2009 focused on building a board, and laying the groundwork for a governance structure. The first annual meeting was held in June, TTS incorporated, the initial curriculum was completed, a fiscal agency agreement was established with MAAA and we held our first Annual Campaign.
In 2010 focus shifted to marketing TTS and conducting training sessions. By the close of 2014 over 5,000 senior services professionals attended training sessions and professional workshops conducted by TTS volunteers. Attendees ranged from home health aides to corporate CEOs and included staff from an array of service settings: nursing homes, home health care, legal services, adult day services, independent senior living, assisted living, senior centers, Meals on Wheels, and the Minnesota Ombudsman's Office.
In addition to helping senior service providers develop skills for working with LGBT clients, TTS continues active Board development, fundraising (through our Annual Campaign and Spring Benefit), and execution of our strategic plan. All of our activities support our vision of safe, welcoming and supportive services available to LGBT older adults throughout the region.