Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 35
 
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
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Senior Resource Center Going Strong Despite Challenging Times, Director Says

Dilshanie Perera

While the fluctuations in the economy have affected the Princeton Senior Resource Center (SRC), programs continue to run smoothly, Executive Director Susan Hoskins told Borough Council during her annual report at last Tuesday’s meeting.

Taking on the management of Crosstown, a municipally-funded program that provides door-to-door rides for seniors and people with disabilities, has been “really great to bring under the Senior Resource umbrella,” Ms. Hoskins said.

The Crosstown program was transferred in the spring from the joint Human Services Commission to the Senior Resource Center following the passage of the joint budgets for municipal agencies shared by Borough and Township. The SRC’s budget was increased by $27,500 this year to accommodate the program transfer.

“It’s all about making connections between people and the services they need,” Ms. Hoskins explained, noting that one resident called in to use the Crosstown service, and was able to be paired with a number of other services at that time.

Over the past year, the SRC has seen “a reduction in individual and corporate donations, and a loss of a significant portion of our new endowment,” but despite the tough times, is case managing over 100 clients, and is assisting people in aging in place through programs like “Partners in Caring,” a collaboration between six social service agencies.

Ms. Hoskins also reported that her monthly public-access television show, Prime Time, focused on issues pertaining to seniors, is now up and running on cable channel 30. The half-hour show airs on Mondays at 10:30 a.m., Wednesdays at 7 p.m., and Friday at 6 a.m., and features interviews dealing with safety, aging in place, and reverse mortgages, among other topics.

Mentioning that more people are staying in their homes longer, thus underscoring the importance of giving them access to resources so they can do so safely, Ms. Hoskins said that 359 volunteers, a number up 25 from the previous year, contributed their time in different ways over the past year.

Seniors themselves were volunteers through the “Grandpals” program, in which 57 older adults spent time in three local schools for seven sessions per week.

Achieving financial stability “was the greatest challenge of the year,” Ms. Hoskins said, adding that they chose to host two smaller fundraisers, Brunch at Home and Cotton Club, this year instead of one.

Ms. Hoskins remarked that they were exceeding their space due to the greater number of people utilizing senior services, and the popularity of the Center’s classes and programs, in addition to requesting that Council look into fixing the sound system and flooring at the Suzanne Patterson Center.

Borough Engineer Christopher Budzinski said they had recently issued a request for proposals for the designs.

Advocating for better transportation services to and from places like Elm Court and Harriet Bryan House, Ms. Hoskins said that she would like to see the FreeB jitney service active during the day.

For more information about the Senior Resource Center, visit www.princetonsenior.org or call (609) 924-7108.

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