Started in 1981, the Senior Assistance Center has helped Denver residents 55 and up get basic necessities, stay in their homes, chart their financial futures, and connect with their community. Forty years later, the staff has changed but the mission is the same: helping seniors in North Denver and across the city.
Karen Black is the organization’s current Executive Director and heads up the two woman show along with Janet Schreurs who handles operations and programs. Beyond that, they rely on community volunteers and their board to help. Gearing up for this summer, they hope to have more volunteers from the community.
One of their biggest programs is emergency food and other necessities. Currently, they prepare boxes they offer through a drive-up service as well as some delivery in the neighborhood.
Services aren’t limited to basic necessities though. “Many of our clients are on low fixed incomes,” explained Black. “I believe in the holistic approach.” In addition to the immediate supplies, they also help seniors with monthly household budgeting, connecting them with long term services offered by the city and other nonprofit organizations, as well as a variety of other needs.
Black said the organization stands out because they really try to tailor their services to the individual. “People call in, tell us what they’re looking for.” Recently, they’ve spent a lot of time helping seniors find COVID-19 vaccine appointments, which “is not the easiest thing to do” for many of the clients, especially those who aren’t comfortable with or don’t own a computer. They’ve been providing phone numbers and guidance to community clinics, as well as information about home vaccine programs for those who can’t easily travel.
In the last 12 months, the center has helped over 3,200 residents across the city. About ⅓ are in North Denver and the other ⅔ comes from nearby neighborhoods. While community needs have risen in the past year, The Senior Assistance Center is still taking new clients, and they are looking for more community volunteers to help. The next big food box drop will be on June 24, and Black is asking for donations. They can accept packaged food products, cleaning and hygiene products, and also fresh items. Have you recently taken up backyard gardening and suddenly find yourself with too much zucchini, tomatoes, or other fresh produce? They’ll find them a good home.
Anyone looking for help or interested in donating or otherwise volunteering is encouraged to reach out. The Senior Assistance Center is located at 2839 W. 44th Ave in Denver. You can contact them online at http://seniorassistancecenter.org or by calling 303-458-7945. They do also welcome walk-ins from 10-2 Monday through Thursday (please wear a mask if coming in person and ring the bell). They can usually be reached by phone Monday through Thursday from 10-4:30.
Do you know a nonprofit organization making a difference in our community? Let us know! Each month, The Denver North Star tries to highlight community groups helping improve North Denver. Email us at News@DenverNorthStar.com or call us at 720-248-7327.