In 2015, according to the US Census, there were 47.7 million Americans ages 65 and older. Of those, per the Pension Rights Center in Washington, DC, half of them had less than $22,887 in yearly income from all sources.
In Santa Clarita, many seniors find themselves living social-security check to social-security check, struggling to cover housing, transportation, medical and food costs.
“So many of us seniors have nobody and need help. I have no family here, so we’re family to each other [at the SCV Senior Center],” said SCV Senior Center member Roanna Woerter, 81. “My $800 a month doesn’t go very far. Some of us try different things to get money, like reverse mortgages. It can be confusing. There’s a huge need for financial education and support.”
“We’re very aware of how many of our seniors struggle to make ends meet – and how that can open them up to scams and make them more likely to consider risky financial options. Thankfully, the SCV Senior Center provides many services that address the concerns surrounding a senior’s financial uncertainty,” says Kevin MacDonald, SCV Senior Center executive director. “But there’s an opportunity to do more – and it comes down to not having enough space at our existing Center. That’s why a financial center is one of the priorities for our new building, which will be three times the size of our existing Center.”
“Our vetted professionals and volunteers will be able to work one on one and in workshops with SCV seniors to provide insurance counseling, a better understanding of Medicare, income tax assistance, financial counseling, money management guidance, and benefit assistance,” said New Building Campaign Co-chair Peggy Rasmussen. “The financial center in the new SCV Senior Center will help our seniors avoid the dangers of exploitation and financial uncertainty while addressing a whole host of concerns that uniquely affect our senior population, like excessive debt, frauds, inadequate income and scams.”
“Because the new SCV Senior Center will be built with the intention of cultivating improved intergenerational relationships, we’ll also have the space and programming to educate the community and family members on frauds, scams and how to recognize if a loved one is being exploited,” says MacDonald. “The purpose is not to frighten, but to empower seniors to make informed decisions that put them in improved financial situations where they can thrive.”
“All of these positive impacts become realized when the new SCV Senior Center opens its doors,” says Rasmussen. “That’s why we’re working so hard to raise the last $1.75 million needed to break ground on the new Center. Right now, we’re asking every community member to donate at least $31 to the Campaign by July 31. When everyone works together on behalf of our seniors, the entire Santa Clarita Valley benefits. Community members can make their donation right now at Newseniorcenter.com.”
The SCV Senior Center New Building Campaign is currently soliciting donations and community partnerships. Donations can be made online at www.NewSeniorCenter.com; by writing a check to SCVCOA-Building Fund (Memo: Capital Campaign) and mailing it to 22900 Market Street, Santa Clarita, CA 91321; calling in a credit-card donation to the SCV Senior Center (661-259-9444) or working with Executive Director MacDonald to arrange gifts of stock, securities and more (661-259-9444, extension 123). Building naming opportunities, commemorative plaques and more are available and donations are tax deductible.
ABOUT THE NEW SCV SENIOR CENTER
The 2.5-acre site of the new building can be found on Golden Valley Road in Santa Clarita and will serve SCV’s growing senior population and those who love them. Exciting additions to the new Center include an expanded Adult Day Program, Health & Wellness Center, Employment and Financial Centers; Culinary Arts Kitchen; multi-purpose rooms; a “living room” with fireplace and socialization area; and much more.