Pike Market Senior Center is more than just a warm, safe place to enjoy a hot meal: it’s a caring community for our most vulnerable seniors in downtown Seattle. They serve the most vulnerable population of any senior center in Seattle, reporting over 51,000 visits from 1,449 members and over 48,000 nutritious meals served over the last year.
Membership to the Senior Center simply requires that individuals are 55 years or older, and provides seniors with two nutritious meals, wellness activities, housing services, and a warm place to socialize, seven days a week.
The Senior Center also has an activities space, and hosts more community-building classes such as exercise, yoga, and even ballroom dancing for Senior Center members. Says staff member Mason Lowe, “There are a lot of things you can find at the Senior Center, but one of the most important is friendship and community.”
The majority of senior center members live on little or no income, nearly half are homelessness, and most are at risk of social isolation. These resilient seniors look to the senior center not only to access basic needs like food, housing and shelter, but also where they see friends, play games, watch films, and other activities – all at no cost. Last year, Pike Market Senior Center created a project to share their expertise in assisting homeless elders with senior centers across King County. Through SHARE (the Senior Homelessness Action, Resources, and Education Project), PMSC staff made site visits and created a guide and resource book to help other senior centers become better resources to homeless clients.
Next year, their goal is to increase their social work case management to seniors with severe needs. They also hope to improve access to information, assistance and referral services to help clients with less complicated concerns – relieving social workers from performing these duties.