An Update from the Director

UPDATE FROM THE DIRECTOR 

Owing to the Coronavirus and the requirement for spatial separation, it became necessary to readapt our programs and activities to serve seniors this year.  No longer could we offer congregate meals a mainstay for socialization or our regular programs and activities.  Within the time we established some new adaptations.    

Now we provide 40 – 100 to-go lunches daily prepared by Chef Anthony.  We deliver some lunches and meals with basic groceries essentials on Wednesdays and Fridays.  Presently we deliver upwards to 200 essential groceries bi-weekly, offer health and wellness calls, and help seniors complete forms for entitlement benefits like food, housing, health care enrollment, and unemployment support.  

Office hours are being maintained, 8:30 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday for this purpose.  Staff and several volunteers are on-site daily helping to prepare and bag groceries, acting as drivers to deliver hot meals, and cold to go boxed lunches. Those picking up lunches can come through the front door and get them. 

Spatial distance is being utilized. All staff members have their own offices. The dining hall is ample spacing for the preparation of the to-go hot meals, boxed lunches, and groceries to be delivered. Staff and volunteers have all been provided masks and nitrile gloves for usage.

Central Area Senior Center is in a healthy financial situation even as we maneuver our programs and activities adapting to the changing environment in which we currently operate.  Donors have been generous.  You are one more example of this generosity we are experiencing.  During non-COVID-19 days revenue was generated by a variety of means, individuals, corporations, small businesses, grants from foundations, rental revenue, membership dues, and program fees.  Presently our primary funds are coming from the government, foundations, corporations, and individual donors.  

Last year, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced that the Central Area Senior Center and the Des Moines/Normandy Park Senior Activity Center were jointly awarded $1.5 million to support an innovative African Diaspora Hub. The funding for this 4.5-year effort was to bring more African American and African immigrant seniors into these centers.  Through this partnership with DesMoines, CASC is providing a Chef, Chef Jackie Sue to cook African American-inspired meals for pick-up and to-go meals.  They are currently also receiving and participating in our grocery delivery program.

In June of 2020, CASC was informed that The Central had been selected as one of the awardees for the HL 2A: Evidence-Based Senior Health Promotion funding with King County, Department of Community and Human Services, Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy. The total award amount for our agency was $458,430. The award period is effective from August 1, 2020, to December 31, 2023.

Most recently on Saturday, November 21st CASC partnered with several organizations including FAME church in the Central District and several South King County organizations to serve 460 seniors, individuals, and families as a drive-thru service (Federal Way), a pickup service (FAME), and a delivery service of homebound seniors with groceries including their choice of either a turkey, 17 lbs. – 20 lbs. and/or honey-baked ham.  

We continued to face challenges in our campaign to receive a transfer/sale of the building and land from the City of Seattle.  However, this fall following our meeting with the Mayor at the center and the Interdepartmental Leadership Team of the City of Seattle, (transfer/sale negotiators) momentum was gained.  We hired a real estate lawyer, Connie Proctor, and jointly entered a more serious negotiation for the building and land.  We finally came to an agreement on the negotiated language.  The Mayor recommended a transmittal of the property to the Seattle City Council and they unanimously voted to affirm the transfer of the building and property to us with the agreed-upon terms.  The official signing of the papers for the title and transfer is scheduled for Tuesday, December 15th, 2020. 

All facets of these activities are costly and time consuming for us. Thus, it is with great appreciation we accept your donations to support our work allowing us to support the emergency food needs of our members and families within the community.  Food scarcity is unfortunately a reality of our times.  We are grateful to have partners in this struggle to see that no one goes hungry.

Thank you for the generosity of your donation and support this year during a pandemic, an inability to gather as we have in the past, and through the loss of members, family, and friends. Our hearts grieve for those that we have lost this year.  

We wish you happiness and joy this Holiday Season and we are grateful for the time we could spend together via phone, emails, and digital means in 2020.  We anticipate that things will not be radically different during the first quarter of the year, however, be on the lookout for the launching of our YouTube Channel, Zoom programming, and other digital activities.  Our lending library of Tablets to engage with us is available once you sign up with Ray Bradley for an orientation and instructional session.  Tablets can be on loan from the center at no cost to members for up to three months. Thank-you for adjusting with us as we adapted to many changes in 2020.  

All in all, it has been an exciting and invigorating time for us.  We Thank-you for taking this journey together with us.  CASC will be closed from December 19th and re-open on Monday, January 4, 2021. 

Warmly, 

Dian Ferguson 

Director 

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