Lutheran Social Services has operated the Cathy Hopper Clairemont Friendship Center since 2017. The facility is owned by the city of San Diego, and LSS has a 20-year lease. We offer a combination of programs and services to people over 55 years of age:
- Nutrition: Lunches are offered in a congregate meal setting, along with a variety of informational and/or entertaining presentations.
- Health: Periodic blood pressure and hearing screenings are available. There are exercise classes, including Tai chi and Chair Yoga.
- Education and Socialization: There is a computer lab, games like bingo, bridge, canasta, and other types of interactive experiences.
- Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteering offers our clients a way to support the Center, as well as reaching out to the larger community. It also provides them an opportunity to stay involved with those around them.
Many of our seniors live alone, separated from family and friends. Their worlds have gotten smaller, and that makes them feel very much alone. The Senior Center feels like HOME to them, where their feelings of loneliness and isolation subside, and where they find a place they can call their OWN.
Our New Mode of Transportation
Recently, a growing number of our seniors stopped coming to the Center. They had no way to get to the bus route, and no friend to give them a ride. Our staff looked for a possible way to address this dilemma.
We participated in the County of San Diego senior center assessment that was processed through the San Diego Senior Community Foundation. Through them, LSS was introduced to a potential funding source. We submitted a proposal to purchase a van that would transport seniors to our Center.
The Sahm Family Foundation made a very generous grant of $30,000 to purchase the vehicle. It is a nine-passenger van, with a vaulted overhead and wheelchair access, and will be delivered soon. The van is being serviced and checked to ensure everything works properly.
This vehicle will provide safe, reliable transportation that can pick seniors up at their homes, and bring them to our Center. But transportation to the senior Center provides more than just a ride.
It gives seniors access to a wider range of resources. It helps them develop new friendships and remain socially connected. It will also take seniors with no other transportation to essential medical checkups and appointments.
When seniors are actively engaged, they are more likely to remain healthy and less likely to become depressed. As an added benefit to LSS, two of our most active members, both currently unable to find transportation, will again be able to contribute to the Center’s community life.