Press Releases & Articles
Carol “CJ” Johnson
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Senior Assistance Center Celebrates Older Americans Year-round
DENVER (May 10, 2012) – May is Older Americans Month, a good time to remind us to appreciate the contributions of the ever-growing number of older adults in our community. While we celebrate our older adult residents, Denver’s Senior Assistance Center (SAC) highlights these challenges the growth in their numbers presents:
• Around 15 percent of Denver’s senior population lives below the poverty line
• Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) projects that the number of residents age 60 or older will nearly double by 2035, to 23 percent of the total population in the metro area
• DRCOG estimates that just to maintain current service levels, funding for senior services will need to triple by 2020
Many older Americans are like Christine*, who thought child rearing was behind her. More than a year ago, she took custody of her grandson and had to quit her job to prevent him from going into foster care. Today, she’s dealing with the loss of her spouse, on top of needing to find programs to help her deal with her grandson’s behavioral problems. Faced with these challenges and extra expenses, Christine came to SAC for help to prevent utilities shutoff, a service provided under SAC’s Emergency Financial Assistance program.
In its fiscal year ended March 31, 2012, SAC’s Emergency Financial Assistance program kept nearly 20 families from becoming homeless, kept utilities connected for 324 families and provided emergency food assistance to 355 families. SAC also distributed more than 8,200 bags of food at its weekly food bank.
The financial assistance program is one of a dozen programs offered to Denver area seniors by SAC, which has for more than 30 years existed as often the last safety net to keep a needy senior from going hungry or becoming homeless.
“The number of seniors we serve depends on the financial resources we receive through individual donations, grants and gifts-in-kind,” says Carol “CJ” Johnson, executive director. “Senior Assistance Center was formed to use more than 75 percent of the money we raise for direct services to low-income Denver seniors. Over our first 30 years, we were able to serve around 1 million people, and we hope to continue that pace as the number of older adults in our area grows.”
For more information about the Senior Assistance Center, please visit www.seniorassistancecenter.org.
* Fictional name to protect privacy.
Senior Assistance Center is a 501(c)3 organization which provides Denver low-income seniors with emergency financial help to prevent eviction and utility shutoff. SAC also provides support for medical, dental or optical needs, as well as a weekly food bank, emergency food pantry and other necessities, plus referral services. SAC is often the last safety net to keep a needy senior from going hungry or becoming homeless.