Mayor announces increased support for Seattle senior centers
SEATTLE - Today, Mayor Mike McGinn announced $210,000 in new funding to benefit nine City-funded senior centers in Seattle in his 2014 Proposed Budget, as well as $631,000 to backfill federal and state cuts to programs serving older adults in Seattle.
"It is essential that we backfill state and federal cuts to programs serving older adults in our community," said Mayor McGinn. "These programs help people age in their homes by providing meal services, transportation and case management. Support services like these can help people live longer and healthier lives. And new funds for senior centers would provide increased outreach to at-risk seniors and programming to address the social and health needs of older people."
The City of Seattle currently funds nine senior centers at $614,141 per year. The Proposed Budget would provide an increase of $20,000 for eight centers ($160,000 total):
The South Park Senior Center would receive an additional $50,000.
Senior centers are community drop-in centers providing activities that focus on meeting the social, health, educational, and recreational needs of older adults. Senior centers offer a range of services and resources including health screening, health promotion activities, social work services, social activities, and meals. Each of these centers creates programming around the unique needs of its neighborhood and target population.
In 2012, the nine senior centers served more than 14,000 Seattle residents with very limited resources.
Senior centers have faced significant challenges over recent years including aging facilities, declining financial resources, and changing demographics. In response, each center has undertaken new fundraising efforts, created strategies to engage the baby boomer population, and increased partnerships such as with the Parks Department's Lifelong Recreation Program.
The role of senior centers will continue to evolve as the needs of the aging population and rising numbers of older adults in Seattle continue to grow. The population of older adults in the Seattle area is expected to double by 2025.
The mayor also announced that his 2014 Proposed Budget would backfill state and federal reductions to the Aging and Disabilities Services (ADS) division of the Human Services Department. The Department will lose revenues due to federal sequestration ($483,000) and state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) cuts ($148,000). Without the City replacing the lost revenue, critical programs such as senior meal services, volunteer transportation, adult day services, case management, family caregiver support services and healthy aging programs would face cuts that would drastically undermine their ability to support older adults in our community.
For more information about senior centers in Seattle, please visit http://www.seattle.gov/humanservices/seniorsdisabled/seniorsresources.htm.
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