Summer 2022 Newsletter


Lary relaxes at 10,500 feet in Kings Canyon National Park in the Sierras
Lary Dunsmore is an active and athletic 70-year-old. A retired middle and high school teacher, he now spends much of his time volunteering for Sanchez Elementary and Everett Middle Schools in San Francisco where he builds and maintains gardens.

Lary grew up with plants, and years of working with children in the garden taught him to be humble. “People assume I am an expert. I don’t correct them,” he jokingly says. To relax on the weekends, Lary goes to the school’s garden to check on the plants and have some quiet time.
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Partners in Serving LGBTQ+ Older Adults

Shanti’s LGBTQ+ Aging & Abilities Support Network (LAASN) helps LGBTQ+ older adults and adults with disabilities overcome isolation and vibrantly contribute to the community.

LAASN provides services such as emotional support, social service coordination, advocacy, and appointment accompaniment. To enhance the well-being of our clients, LAASN is honored to partner with Curry Senior Center and Openhouse
“So many of our clients crave connection and seek safe, LGBTQ+ friendly environments where they can receive caring and compassionate support services,”

— Joanne Kipnis, MSW, LAASN Progam Director
Curry Senior Center provides holistic, inclusive programming to promote older adults’ wellness, dignity, and independence. Curry offers LAASN clients full access to its social and wellness programs. Wellness offerings include health education and chronic disease management activities, while social programs include ESL and citizenship classes, current event discussions, bingo, and groups that focus on LGBTQ+ experiences.

Openhouse offers housing, direct services, and social programs to LGBTQ+ older adults. It focuses on the voices and experiences of LGBTQ+ older adults, offers safe spaces that encourage diverse perspectives, and recognizes the intersectionality of community members. All Openhouse programming is available to LAASN clients and includes wellness programs, community engagement activities, and coordination of social services such as housing support, home meal delivery, and transportation assistance.
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Shanti Helps Mentor SF's Workforce

Shanti is excited to offer its partners and providers a new opportunity to lift up the next generation of workers. Through our Community Services, Shanti is coordinating two workforce development programs to mentor those interested in entering the sexual/drug-user public health field, and those who are new to the HIV frontline service field. By sharing our experience as mentors, we are demonstrating to workers what it takes to show up for others, fully and compassionately. 
The programs, funded by San Francisco’s Department of Public Health, are inspired by a groundswell of interest among current workers to share their knowledge, experience, and skills. Both programs connect participants with mentors, job training, and networking opportunities: 


The Community Health Leadership Initiative Training and Mentorship Program (CHLI) is for individuals who seek a career in the sexual/drug-user public health field but have little to no experience. CHLI implemented a pilot season in 2021, its last round was from April - June 2022, and is recruiting for its next round in August. Participants were trained weekly in cultural competence, drug-user health, sexually transmitted diseases, sex positivity, and more. CHLI creates a workforce that reflects the communities served and leads to more socially responsive services

FOG Mentor Program

New HIV frontline workers are paired with experienced providers to develop their professional toolkit and learn how to efficiently and confidently better serve clients. Frontline Organizing Group (FOG) Mentor Program aims to advance the skills of HIV frontline workers by investing in their professional development and career goals. This improves interagency collaboration and service delivery to people living with HIV.
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Save the Date for Shanti's Annual Dinner

Join us for Compassion Is Universal, Shanti’s 48th Anniversary Dinner, on Thursday, October 13, 2022, from 6-9 pm at the Palace Hotel. Save the date for celebrating compassion, care, and connection in our community!
Tickets and sponsorships available now at
About Shanti
Shanti is a pioneering nonprofit that builds human connections to reduce isolation, enhance health and well-being, and improve quality of life. We believe that meaningful relationships are essential for navigating life’s most difficult challenges. Every day, we ease the invisible suffering that can accompany isolation or illness, and combat it through the power of personal connection. Because when we take care of each other, we make San Francisco a healthier and more compassionate community, for everyone.
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