NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — One advocacy group says a third of gay seniors live in poverty in New York City, and one city councilman has decided to do something about it.

“I think we forget that those folks who came before us who really led the way and were pioneers in our movement are still around,” Catherine Thurston of the group SAGE said, which advocates for gay seniors. “People, at the time in their life when they’re most vulnerable, feel that they need to hide who they truly are.”

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To help those in need, Councilman Ritchie Torres has secured $1.5 million in the city’s budget to establish a LGBT senior center in each borough, WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported.

“It’s hard to be gay, especially in an area like in the Bronx,” 26-year-old Torres said. “I can only imagine what it’s like to be an LGBT elder, the fear of aging alone, dying alone.”

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The center will be the first LGBT center of any kind in Torres’ home borough of the Bronx.

“We have some progress to make,” Torres said.

Torres is the first openly gay elected official in the Bronx and was sworn in this past January.

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