A program aimed at gay seniors and sponsored by an LGBT community center in downtown Chicago received nearly a half million dollars in federal funding Tuesday, ChicagoPride.com reported.

The Center on Halsted, located at 3656 N. Halsted, will use the one-year $475,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to fund special projects administered by the Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) program, including HIV educational efforts aimed at gay seniors and LGBT cultural competency training for insurance service providers.

Illinois Representative Mike Quigley, an established gay ally, praised the announcement.

“SAGE directly addresses the unique challenges of LGBT seniors by seeking to assist and improve their quality of life, which has often been marked by discrimination and inequity,” Quigley, a Chicago Democrat, said in a statement. “I will never stop fighting for equality and treasure the opportunity of representing SAGE in my district.”

An estimated 40,000 LGBT adults over the age of 55 live in Chicago, according to the Center on Halsted.

“This grant will assure that LGBT seniors are given the best opportunity to lead safe, healthy, dignified and fulfilling lives,” Modesto Tico Valle, CEO of the Center on Halsted, said.