An Update From the Director
We are grateful for the number of individuals who attended the Jackson Street Jazz Walk and contributed a donation to support our programs and activities. It was two enjoyable virtual concerts. One of our favorite activities at CASC pre-COVID-19 was hosting our 3rd Friday’s, Green Dolphin Lounge Live Music Bands. Eugenie Jones and her band is a favorite at the Central. Eugenie played a major role in coordinating this year’s Jackson Street Jazz Walk identifying us as a benefactor of the proceeds. We look forward to future concerts post COVID-19 when we can all gather again. In the interim we want to Thank-you her and the attendees for appreciating our work and supporting what we do.
We appreciate all the contributions received from the Jazz Walk and because of our COVID-19 vaccines clinics. They all come at a good time allowing us to continue to offer services to maintain the livelihood of the center. It benefits us, the Leschi neighborhood, the Central District, South Seattle, and our community partners throughout DesMoines and South King County. We find ourselves extremely busy during the pandemic and have concentrated our efforts on direct service work.
Owing to the Coronavirus and the requirement for spatial separation, it became necessary to readapt our programs and activities to serve seniors. No longer could we offer congregate meals a mainstay for socialization or our regular programs and activities. Within time we established some new adaptations.
Throughout 2020 and 2021, Central Area Senior Center was able to adapt our programming and activities to better serve seniors during a challenging year. We shifted our Community Dining lunch program to a take-out and delivery program and now serve between 40-100 meals daily depending on the menu selection that is offered. Our staff routinely performs wellness calls and help seniors’ complete forms for entitlement benefits, housing, health care enrollment and unemployment benefits.
We developed relationships with Safeway/Albertsons and Food Lifeline to purchase food and benefit from low cost and free food. These relationships allowed us to deliver essential groceries to over 200 seniors on a bi-weekly schedule. During 2020, we served 1,421 seniors and households; served 8,964 meals, distributed 1,849 grocery totes representing 35,498 pounds of food. We expect food insecurity to continue until economic conditions improve and seniors feel safe to move freely outside their homes.
Most recently CASC is partnering with Safeway/Albertson Pharmacy and the City of Seattle Fire Department to facilitate COVID-19 vaccines, including the first and second doses to seniors. These vaccinations are targeted to seniors and their caregivers within the B1 group, African American and BIPOC communities. We handle the registration process, set up the locations and handle all the logistics relative to getting seniors and their caregivers vaccinated. To date we have organized 4 clinics which have vaccinated 1900 seniors and caregivers in the B1 group. The vaccinations have been scheduled on Thursday’s four weeks apart in February and March at First African Methodist Episcopal (FAME) church.
Currently we are hosting another clinic on Tuesday, April 13th again at FAME with the City of Seattle Fire Department. Eligibility now includes everyone 18 and older, however, we continue to prioritize seniors, African Americans, BIPOC and those residing in Central and South Seattle neighborhoods and communities.
CASC decided to coordinate and facilitate the registration process one not opened to the public to ensure, it would not be an overwhelming process and our targeted populations would be reached. We invited other Community Based Organization’s and Churches to assist us in filling the 400 slots per clinic with their B1 seniors with designated slots allocated to them at specific times to vaccinate them. Each partner organization also provided volunteers and staff to help at the pop-up clinic.
We used telephone communication to assist with the notification process to those not adept with on-line processes and assisted with the completion of necessary forms in advance and on site with staff and volunteers. The outcomes have been rewarding for seniors, staff, and volunteers.
In 2020, we finally came to agreement on the negotiated language, terms and conditions for the transfer and sale of the building and property. Mayor Durkan 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. Board President Barbara Peete, board member Winona Hauge and I went downtown on December 15th to the City’s office of Department of Finance and Administrative Services where I signed the papers for ownership of the building.
All facets of these activities in 2020 and 2021 are/were costly and time consuming. Thus, it is with great appreciation we openly accept your donations in support of our work. It allows us to support the emergency food needs of our members and families within the community, to have hired an Attorney for negotiations with the City and to continue to service our members with new adapted programs and the set up of COVID-19 vaccination pop-up clinics. Food scarcity is unfortunately a continual reality of our times. We are grateful to have partners in this struggle to see that no one goes hungry and all seniors, essential workers and eventually educators, child-care workers and transit drivers can be vaccinated until we reach the entire adult population.
Thank-you for the generosity of your donations throughout 2020 and in our support in 2021. There were many organizations that you could have chosen to direct your gift towards. As our members age, they remain young in spirit. We want to continue to support them to live their best lives. CASC is thrilled to be on the receiving end of your philanthropic generosity. The year is already demonstrating itself to being an exciting time for us even as we adapt services.
CASC looks forward to the continuation of providing valuable services and programming to seniors and the community, as we adjust creatively with new virtual programming, social media instructions, increased meal and grocery services and COVID-19 vaccine pop-up clinics while offering a safe place to make connections in 2021.
Dian Ferguson Director