Pontiac, MI - Twenty-nine senior centers across Oakland County will share $5 million in grants from the county's American Recovery Plan Act (ARP) funds to provide improved services and facilities to older residents.
County Executive Dave Coulter announced the grants, which range from $25,000 - $250,000, from the site of the Madison Heights City Hall renovation which includes a new senior center under construction.
"Since 2015, Oakland County's senior population has been greater than the population of children. So, it certainly makes sense to invest some of the federal COVID relief funding we received into helping our older residents," Coulter said. "And what better way to make that investment than providing the funding for upgrades at the county's senior centers."
With the approval of the Board of Commissioners, the county also created the director of older adult services position. Former State Rep. and Royal Oak Mayor Jim Ellison joined the county last month to work with older Oakland County residents to ensure they know about all the resources available to them.
Some of the senior center grants projects include upgrades to kitchens for expanded nutrition programs, new roofs and other infrastructure to extend the life of these centers, American with Disabilities Act compliance projects to make facilities more accessible, pickleball courts to accommodate the fastest-growing sport in the country, new park space and recreational activities, safety and security upgrades, purchase of laptops and computer recharging stations as well as hiring technology instructors for seniors, and upgrades to HVAC systems for more stable heating and cooling.
"The Board of Commissioners has long taken steps to meet the needs of Oakland County seniors," Commissioner Gary R. McGillivray (D-Madison Heights) said. "With this grant program, we're empowering our diverse communities to choose solutions that meet the unique needs of their residents, and I am proud that this process will provide meaningful improvements for our older adults."
Funding for the Madison Heights Senior Center will support creating a landscape sensory garden, outdoor seating space, purchase of technology equipment and training for seniors, installing touchless features, and upgrades for both exercise and HVAC equipment.
"The 'Oakland Together' grant we have been awarded is helping us ensure that Madison Heights can modernize our facilities as initially planned, expand programming, and attract a new generation of participants," Madison Heights Mayor Roslyn Grafstein said.
Pontiac will conduct urgent renovations on the Robert Bowen and Ruth Peterson Community centers.
"We're very grateful to the county for this funding to improve our senior recreation facilities," Pontiac Mayor Tim Greimel said. "Our seniors have spent their entire lives investing in our community, and now we're investing in their quality of life."
Bloomfield Township Senior Services will replace indoor fitness equipment, improve safety and security, enhance virtual connections, staff development, parking upgrade, and expand outdoor program space.
"This historic investment is a tremendous show of support for senior centers who are the focal point for supportive services, connection, and healthy aging," Bloomfield Twp. Senior Center Director Christine Tvaroha said.
Springfield Township Hart Community Center will address food insecurity for seniors by upgrading the building, accessibility, and kitchen facility for meal prep for seniors.
"The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted how important it is that our senior population has a place to go to gather and participate in activities geared towards them along with a reliable source of nutritious meals," Springfield Twp. Director of Parks & Recreation Sarah Richmond said. "Our Hart Community Center is this place for our senior community. This grant will allow us to make updates to the facility improving the accessibility and functionality of the building and enabling us to continue to provide services now and into the future."
The other senior centers receiving grants are:
- Addison Senior Center for creating new park space, walking paths, and pickleball.
- Auburn Hills Community Center for senior nutrition program and upgrading the kitchen.
- Brandon Township Edna Burton Senior Center for roof and gutter replacement and to purchase equipment that will keep the seniors active.
- Commerce Township Richardson Senior Center for parking lot upgrades for new pickleball courts and expansion of programming
- Farmington Hills Senior Center for improving access to the pools, theater, congregate meals program, exercise opportunities, clubs, support groups, dance classes, and social gatherings at Costick Activities and Hawk Community centers.
- Ferndale Gerry Kulick Community Center for outdoor senior recreational opportunities such as pickleball courts and trail markers along the walking path to encourage senior physical health and well-being.
- Golden Age Club in Waterford for a variety of outdoor recreational activities for seniors and replacement of commercial kitchen ranges.
- Hazel Park Senior Center for flooring upgrades, ADA compliant doors, HVAC system, and a generator.
- Independence Twp. Senior Center Clarkston for roof and gutter replacement, interior painting, and a new phone system replacement.
- Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield for a new customer relationship management system to maximize participant outreach and data analysis to make strategic decisions on how to best address the needs of seniors.
- Lake Orion Senior Center for deck construction for outdoor senior programming and an ADA sidewalk.
- NEXT Area Senior Council in Birmingham for feasibility study to identify a viable location to expand senior services.
- Novi Older Adults Services for construction of pickleball courts at Meadowbrook Commons
- Oak Park Senior Center for equipping a new commercial kitchen which provides access to locally grown Michigan produce for seniors and to develop partnerships to provide congregate meals for seniors.
- Older Persons' Commission in Rochester Hills for roof replacement allowing at-risk services and fitness and aquatic activities to continue.
- Pleasant Ridge Community Center Pleasant Ridge for a building generator and new tables and chairs for day-to-day senior programming and outdoor activities
- Royal Oak (city) Senior Community Center for equipment and technological improvements that include bathroom remodels for ADA compliance, automatic doors, large display monitors, and Chromebook purchases.
- Royal Oak Township Pearl Wright Senior Center for a large screen television, laptops, and re-charge stations for the computers, for seniors and hiring technology instructors for seniors.
- South Lyon Center for Active Adults for an outdoor pavilion area and expanding their programming space.
- Southfield Pavilion for renovations including wall replacement, electrical repairs, new flooring, and furnishings to support seniors.
- Troy Parks and Recreation for renovating the senior dining room at the Troy Community Center and senior outdoor recreation activities.
- Waterford Senior Center for expanding senior programming such as yoga, meditation, balance classes, and reading, and roof repairs and ADA compliant sidewalk replacement.
- West Bloomfield Connect for expansion of the Recreation Activities Center facility, staff professional development, technology improvements, and equipment updates.
- Wixom Senior Citizen Center for carpet, tiles, doors, and presentation equipment upgrades, installation of UV lighting air handling disinfection system, and new HVAC.