After four years of renovations, the Council on Aging of Central Oregon will formally open the Senior Services Center alongside Bend Mayor Melanie Kebler, Deschutes County Commissioner Phil Chang, partners and members of the community. This is the first and only building in Central Oregon dedicated to providing a full suite of client-facing services that make it easier to age at home.
The Council on Aging acquired the building in 2018 and started renovations in 2019. The pandemic caused closures and delays, and further solidified the need for a dedicated service and community space for Central Oregon seniors, their loved ones and caregivers. The $3M renovation included replacing the electric and HVAC systems, new siding, windows and doors, updated community dining and gathering spaces, refurbished commercial kitchen, improved accessibility and new administrative offices. The site opened in November for community dining, and is now fully open to the public every weekday from 8am-4:30pm.
The Senior Services Center building at 1036 NE 5th Street was built in 1953 as a Latter Day Saints Church. It was converted into the first senior center in the city and then transitioned into a community center and soup kitchen. Susan Rotella, Executive Director of the Council on Aging of Central Oregon, notes, “service is in the bones of this building, and we’re ecstatic to be able to continue bringing the community together under its roof.”
The newly renovated 8,750 square foot Senior Services Center is a “one-stop” shop for Central Oregon seniors, their loved ones and caregivers to access information and referral services, case management, nutrition programming, caregiver support, Medicare counseling, social connection, volunteer opportunities and many other resources that make aging at home possible today and in the future.
Funding for the $3M renovation was provided with significant community support from organizations including the JTMF Foundation, St. Charles Health System, the City of Bend, Deschutes County, Oregon Community Foundation, Bend Foundation, The Healy Foundation, HEDCO Foundation, Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund, Autzen Foundation and OnPoint Community Credit Union. In addition, there were many generous individual donations including a bequest of $250,000 from the Elmer F. Kruse Revocable Trust, and a $250,000 investment from the Oregon State Legislature’s biennial ‘Christmas Tree Fund.’
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