Our Elderly Residents
Lunch, a visit with the mayor, and Santa Claus
Saab Court residents took a recent trip to the Raymond A. Jordan Senior Center, where they were treated to lunch, a private tour, and a few surprise guests.
Along with the 15 visitors from the Springfield Housing Authority development in the city’s Metro Center neighborhood were prestigious guests such as Mayor Domenic Sarno, city Health and Human Services Director Helen Caulton-Harris, volunteers from the Fire Department, and Raymond and Donna Jordan. The center is named in honor of Raymond Jordan, a long-time state legislator and retired administrator from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
One more illustrious guest: Santa Claus, who visited tables and led a holiday sing-along.
The pre-holiday visit was coordinated by the Springfield Housing Authority, the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority and the Senior Center at 1476 Roosevelt Avenue. It’s a trip that’s likely to be repeated for residents at Saab Court as well as other SHA developments that are home to elderly and disabled populations.
“This is a great opportunity for our residents at Saab Court to enjoy a nice lunch and see what else the Senior Center has to offer,” said SHA Executive Director Denise Jordan.
“Hopefully we can get them here on a regular basis. This center has so much to offer, programs and classes that are a great match for our residents,” Jordan added.
In fact, lunch is just $3.50 a day, and all other programming is free. Seniors can take a variety of exercise classes, participate in activities from painting and crafts to book club, Bible study, a walking club, and much more. There is even a billiards room, where pool sharks and novices can play for fun, or compete against teams from area senior centers.
Saab Court residents enjoyed the lunch in the light-filled dining room, where volunteers served plates and visitors made the rounds, welcoming all.
Betty Wallace said she was happy to take the bus to the Senior Center, and will definitely be back.
“This is such a great place,” Wallace said. “It’s big, wide open and full of light, very clean, and so much to do here. There is something here for everyone.”
Vernice Burns, her friend and neighbor at Saab Court, agreed.
“The lunch was fantastic,” said Burns. “And all my good neighbors are here. I think it’s lovely, just great.”
Senior Center Director of Elder Affairs Sandy Federico led a tour through areas including a café, library, computer lab, the fitness center, the billiards room and an all-purpose room that plays host to classes, activities and meetings. There is even a Job Club that meets weekly, for seniors who are seeking employment.
“You can work on your resumes, and you get help in looking for and finding jobs,” Federico said.
The center is open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. All seniors are welcome.
SHA Director of Resident Services Pamela Wells organized the trip, which began with a PVTA bus ride from Saab Court to the center, included lunch, and ended with the tour. Future trips will be planned for other housing developments where seniors live.
“This really exposes them to what’s here and the things they can participate in,” Wells explained. “There is so much to do and experience here. We’ll be back.”
Saab Court resident Jose Santiago said he knew at once that making the trip to the Senior Center was a great decision.
“It’s very nice here. The lunch was very good, and it’s a beautiful place,” Santiago said. “I’ll be back.”
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