Supporting the NYC Aging Agenda:
On the cutting edge of public/private partnerships, the Fund serves as the fundraising arm and fiscal sponsor for both private and public grants and other donations that support the critical work of the NYC Department for the Aging.
Many older adults rely on senior centers and other aspects of the City’s network of aging services and social service programs for their basic needs – to maintain their health and independence and to mitigate the effects of social isolation. For more than 7,000 seniors each day, these centers are a link to community resources and serve a central role as localized service providers. As roughly one in three seniors in New York City fall below the poverty line, the need for efficient and effective services is crucial. Many centers have been in operation for decades and may no longer reflect the needs of the current population.
On The Cutting Edge - Innovative Senior Centers
The Fund has just begun its most ambitious collaboration with DFTA to date: the development of public/private partnerships that will help the City create 50 Innovative Senior Centers throughout the 5 boroughs by 2014.
The goal of the Innovative Senior Center (ISC) Initiative is to “provide leading edge senior service congregate programs that complement the extraordinary diversity of the City’s adults aged 60 years or older.” The plan requires enhancements to address service gaps, improve the integration of multiple services, and better meet the needs of New York’s growing population of older New Yorkers. While the Mayor has pledged $18 million over two years for this important initiative, and is committed to this new model of service delivery, ISCs would not be possible without private dollars to augment the cost of these groundbreaking changes.
The Fund is proud to partner with DFTA on the fundraising and technical assistance components of this overall effort, which is likely to become a nationwide model for senior centers of the future.
A 2010 study conducted by the New York Academy of Medicine outlined the need for centers of excellence that could provide a wide range of services with creative, expanded opportunities in addition to the current core benefits. It additionally concluded that the development of such centers could meet needs that have previously been difficult to address at the neighborhood level, by targeting special needs and special interests, underserved populations, and particular neighborhoods.