Councilmember Tom Rasmussen
COUNCIL COMMITTEE PRESENTS SENIOR CENTERS’ REVIEW
First phase of two part study reveals significant challenges faced by the centers
SEATTLE – Yesterday, Councilmember Tom Rasmussen heard that the Baby Boom generation will present unique challenges for Seattle’s senior centers. “This is a new generation of seniors with new attitudes and unique needs,” said Councilmember Rasmussen, chair of the Council’s Housing, Human Services, and Health Committee. At yesterday’s Committee meeting, Rasmussen and his colleagues heard a presentation of a Council study of the current state of senior centers in Seattle. The study was commissioned by Councilmember Tom Rasmussen after hearing concerns from the centers and the community about the financial stability and the uncertainty of the future of the nine centers within the city.
“This study has identified some key issues our senior centers are struggling with,” said Councilmember Rasmussen. “This is a good start to planning for the future of these important centers and services.”
Last year, the Council added $100,000 into the City budget to help the ailing centers, many of whom have been experiencing budget deficits for years. Councilmember Rasmussen will urge the Council to continue this assistance another year before the second part of the analysis develops recommendations for the long term future of the centers.
Councilmember Rasmussen stated, “These centers provide invaluable services to our seniors, and we need to ensure they continue to serve the seniors who benefit from them while we are developing a comprehensive plan for the coming years.”
Speakers at the presentation, including executive directors, volunteers and patrons of the centers, urged the committee to consider the changing needs and interests of the upcoming “Baby Boomer” population.
“The senior population in Seattle is expected to double over the next twenty years, and I am hearing repeatedly from the community that we will need to rethink the model we are using and the services we provide to the Baby Boomers,” says Councilmember Rasmussen.
Councilmember Rasmussen will seek funds for a consultant to complete the second phase of the study during the Council’s budget process. The study would take place in early 2007. Rasmussen will also convene an advisory committee made up of key stakeholders and community partners to help guide the focus of the study.