News 5's Mike Brookbank reports
CLEVELAND - A first of its kind of housing community in Northeast Ohio is finally a reality after two decades of work.
On the outside it looks just like any other new construction going up around our city, but what makes this place unique is who lives at the address.
"People who are neglected or not respected,” said Linda Krasienko.
They’re the people Krasienko was looking out for 20-years ago when she came up with a new housing concept for aging members of the LGBT community.
"I was kind of looking out for myself, too," said Krasienko.
It all started when Krasienko tried finding a senior-living facility she and her partner could eventually move into together.
"Unfortunately there was none, and especially as affordable living," added Krasienko.
Fast forward two decades - and A Place for Us fills that void.
“I never dreamed it would look like this,” said Krasienko.
The 55-unit apartment complex on the Cleveland-Lakewood border is geared toward members of the aging LGBT community which often deals with poverty issues, mainly among Lesbians.
In Northeast Ohio, according to an LGBT older adults wellness report, 45 percent of single Lesbians 65 and older have an annual income of $20,000 or less, with 27 percent below $10,000.
Kevin Borowiak, who lives on a low-fixed income, was one of the first residents to move in.
Borowiak uses a popular phrase to describe his new home: "Birds of the same feather flock together."
“When you're in your flock you feel safe, you feel comfortable, your ability to be happy increases," added Borowiak.
“People my age grew up in an era when being gay, being lesbian, LGBT was a negative," said Borowiak.
Borowia said A Place for Us provides peace of mind.
"You don't have to feel anxious you've got neighbors that think hmmm," said Borowiak.
In addition to providing a comfortable place to live, this facility provides a number of services geared toward its Gay and Lesbian residents.
"There is nowhere else in the nation that compares to this," said Krasienko.