6th Convening Recap!

MCF 6th Convening

Shirin Vakharia of Marin Community Foundation presents at AAI’s 6th Convening.

From Program Director Linda Jackson:

The highlight of last month was the Aging Action Initiative’s 6th Convening.

We had a full room, dozens of new people, and beaucoup de enthusiasm for the sessions.

Our six Convenings have attracted nearly 500 people. They represent over 130 agencies, nonprofits, and organizations in Marin; 24 agencies have sent three or more people to at least one convening. Our reach is growing because people understand the value of what AAI brings to the work of an age-friendly Marin. Here are some “best parts” comments from this year’s evaluation forms:

  • I was inspired by the four individuals who opened the day. An entertaining and introspective start to the event.
  • So much concern & energy re. making Marin a healthy, secure, safe place to live.
  • Meeting new people; learning about what’s happening in community for seniors and how I can get involved more.
  • Opportunity to network; blend of public, community, and health perspectives.
  • Lens on Aging Equity — questions and discussions at our tables.
  • Reframing aging to be more effective in talking about issues facing older adults.

AAI educates! The morning began with ‘listening in’ to four Marin residents reflect on aging. Read Terri Dowling’s comments on growing older here.

Most of the day was dedicated to learning, thinking, and talking about equity. Laura Eberly of YWCA SF & Marin led two sessions about our own equity-related experiences and perceptions, and about the structure and outlook of our own organizations. You can learn more about the work and offerings of the YWCA at www.ywcasf-marin.org. This history lesson through the eyes of an African American is most insightful: www.youtube.com/watch?v=dw_mRaIHb-M

Shirin Vakharia of Marin Community Foundation moderated a session titled “Bringing Home More than a Tee-Shirt” about the just-concluded national American Society on Aging conference. Not all of us were able to attend the conference in San Francisco, so we brought it back with a panel discussion of highlights and table talks about what people learned. What did we talk about?

  • Livable Communities: housing, transportation, open space
  • Integrated health care models, social determinants of health, and LTSS + CBOs
  • Stigma-resistance and denial and the need to reframe public thinking for acceptance of supports and services for older people
  • “Solo aging” — people without kids who are now without family or spouse support
  • Isolation and health impacts
  • Caregivers: Housing and finding caregivers, workforce/immigration concerns, services in rural communities
  • Hospice/palliative care in home

In addition to equity and the ASA conference, we also talked about ageism and reframing, or revising the way we talk about older people, and the benefits and challenges of growing older.

AAI advocates! The last session of the Convening was all about the four issues we are focusing on this year: housing, aging-in-community, economic security, and transportation. Here are some of the inspirational protest signs made in the afternoon:

  • Work Here. Live Here. Stay Here.
  • End Social Isolation – Visit a Neighbor
  • Reframe our Game to Everyone’s Gain!
  • Livable wages for caregivers now!!!
  • Keep Older People Mobile

AAI promotes service collaboration! The whole day was about this — 74% of attendees reported making at least five new connections and a third of attendees met more than 10 new people.

Thanks to all who came and shared and connected! This is one of the reasons AAI came into being — to make the most of our connections so we can do the most for older people in Marin.

See you around Marin~

P.S. Miss the Convening? Email support@agingactioninitiative.org with your name and organization to request access to panel summaries and presentations.

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INFORM & CONNECT: ADVANCED RESOURCES

Woman on phone

Wednesday November 1, 2017 | 9 am – 4 pm | FREE Workshop |

A free, daylong interactive training about information and resources specific to older adults 85+ and those who need more resources.

Inform and Connect Logo

This training is designed for help-desk, information hotline, and other front-line volunteers or staff who provide clients with information about programs and services available throughout the county for people who are 85 and older or need more advanced resources. Specialists on the following topics will share their knowledge, expertise and resources through short panel presentations and audience Q&A:

  • Vision
  • Senior Peer Counseling
  • Home Maintenance
  • Pets
  • Meals
  • Telephone Reassurance
  • Care-Giving
  • Dementia
  • Aging-in-Place
  • Residential Care
  • Palliative Care
  • Hospice Care

Attendees will make connections with professional colleagues, build professional expertise, and enhance their service to the community. CEUs available.

Who Should Attend

Front line volunteers and others who support the resource referral needs of people 85 and older and those that need more advanced resources.

REGISTER HERE

Registration problems? Call 415-492-9444

To view/download the flier, click here.


About Aging Action Initiative

The purpose of the Aging Action Initiative is to promote a county-wide age-friendly environment, especially for those in need, collectively created by a strong network of aging service providers through education, policy advocacy, and service coordination. The initiative is a collective effort of over 65 different agencies, grassroots organizations, commissions and neighborhood groups, funded by the County of Marin, and coordinated by MARINSPACE.

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INFORM & CONNECT: A Workshop for Front Line Information Assistance and Resource Referral Staff

Woman on phone

Thursday September 21, 2017 | 9 am – 4 pm | FREE Workshop |

A free, daylong interactive training designed to support those who help older adults access resource referral information.

This training is designed for help-desk, information hotline, and other front-line volunteers or staff specifically tasked to provide clients with information about programs and services available throughout the county. Specialists on the following topics will share their knowledge, expertise and resources through short panel presentations and audience Q&A.

  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Financial Abuse
  • Attendant Care
  • Mental Health
  • Nutrition
  • Staying Connected

Attendees will make connections with professional colleagues, build professional expertise, and enhance their service to the community.

Who Should Attend

Front line volunteers and staff who support the resource referral needs of older adults. Up to three people may register per agency or organization for the workshop.

7 Free CEUs provided courtesy of NASW-CA are offered for this workshop.

To register, click here or call 415-492-9444.

For a copy of the event flyer, click here.

About Aging Action Initiative

The purpose of the Aging Action Initiative is to promote a county-wide age-friendly environment, especially for those in need, collectively created by a strong network of aging service providers through education, policy advocacy, and service coordination. The initiative is a collective effort of over 65 different agencies, grassroots organizations, commissions and neighborhood groups, funded by the County of Marin, and coordinated by MARINSPACE.

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SPARKPOINT MARIN Introduces New Housing Advocate

sparkpoint-logo

August 1, 2017 | This year, SparkPoint Marin received grant funding from Marin Community Foundation to specialize in services for individuals from 60 to 70 years to help with more of the life circumstances that are critical to financial health for this age group.

How do I prepare the tax returns that I need to file for my past due taxes?

I am on disability payments and having a hard time making ends meet. Are there other sources of assistance or income that I can qualify for?

I would like to take out a loan to replace my car, but I can’t qualify for the interest rates that I think I can afford. What can I do to get access to credit?

My home needs major repairs and I have no extra income after paying my rent and the bills for my living expenses. How can I afford to maintain my home?

th7ZHGJ2L2These are some of the many challenges that SparkPoint Marin sees among our older adult population. Older and retiring adults can be financially vulnerable despite having the assets that they have worked years to build and preserve. For many in our community, the combination of a high cost of living, disappearing defined benefit plans and a fixed income means new financial worries instead of a life of ease in retirement. Many seniors are making ends meet on social security income and credit sources as single member households.  Some have personal wealth that is tied up in property assets with limited cash income to meet their daily expenses. As many as 7,000 seniors in Marin (21%) are part of an “eligibility gap,” where their income is above $10,830 per year (Federal Poverty Line) and too high to qualify for public assistance. However, their income is below the annual $27,334 estimated as the minimum necessary to afford basic living expenses in this county.[1]

pig-2This year, SparkPoint Marin received grant funding from Marin Community Foundation to specialize in services for individuals from 60 to 70 years old whose financial planning goals can be more dependent on their fixed earning capacity and changing life circumstances.  To help with more of the life circumstances that are critical to financial health for this age group, Leslie Klor, a housing advocate with twenty years of experience, will be joining our in-house expertise beginning in August 2017.  Leslie brings a wealth of knowledge to share on subsidized housing programs, housing vouchers, creative housing alternatives and what it takes to be a good tenant. Her role at SparkPoint Marin will be to help people living with limited means to explore local housing options.

For anyone interested in becoming a SparkPoint member, membership begins with a one hour orientation to our services and an in-depth assessment of personal finances.  Our coaches assist members with spending plans for living on a fixed income. They provide avenues for reducing monthly costs, increasing savings and improving personal credit scores to manage debt.  They assist members who want to earn new income with their job search. They are trained on tax matters and prepare tax returns. They help with applications for public assistance, and, as of August, affordable housing options, to help individuals reduce expenses and stretch their income further.

thU5TQWCV9As one real life example of how coaching can help with a loss of income and other compounding  issues, one member came to SparkPoint to find a way out of the debt that had mounted after she lost her job of fourteen years. She was a single mother supporting a family and had been through a surgery that prevented her from going back to the same job.  At SparkPoint, she received support to polish her skills for a new administrative position and landed a job as a receptionist. She devised a spending and savings plan to manage her new income for paying down her debt. In the course of taking these steps, she also succeeded in raising her credit score to secure greater financial freedom for herself and her family. These are some of the real benefits that are possible with client-centered coaching.

tree-2367374__340Financial health and living well in retirement go hand in hand and they require a sustained effort.  SparkPoint Marin recognizes that the cost of living can be a significant barrier to living the dream of a carefree retirement.  We are here to give people financial options to empower them to improve their life circumstances and enjoy a life of greener pastures here in Marin County.

Upcoming SparkPoint Orientations:

English

Monday, August 14                         12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

Wednesday, September 6              5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Spanish

Wednesday, August 23                    5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, September                12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

 

To reach our Housing Advocate Leslie Klor,  email Sparkpoint.housing@gmail.com

To learn more about our other services or to register for an orientation session, please call (415) 526-7530 or email sparkpoint@camarin.org

[1] Shelley Hamilton, CEO MARINSPACE with assistance from Lee Pullen, Director of Aging & Adult Services, County of Marin. Aging Action Initiative; the first six months, April 2015, p. 3

 

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Dominican Sisters Housing Plan Stalled

domincan-sisters-housing-project

May 9, 2017 | Legal move stalls Dominican sisters’ plan for transitional housing.

An attorney who lives near the Dominican sisters’ Our Lady of Lourdes Convent in San Rafael has appealed the city’s decision to allow the nuns to house two distressed families.

The city’s interim zoning administrator approved a temporary-use permit in January. Dolan and another neighbor filed appeals to the city’s Planning Commission, which rejected their appeals in a 6-0 vote March 14.

Other neighbors, advocates for people who are homeless, and some of the 30 sisters who attended the hearing testified in favor of the plan.

Among the Dominican Sisters’ current ministries are affordable housing, social justice advocacy, social services, and respite for homeless. In January the sisters were granted permission by the city to amend the convent’s use permit to a housing unit.

The unit would be shared by two women and their children, to help the women get established and find permanent housing as part of the convent’s mission. The change in the use permit would end after two years and the women would be supervised by Homeward Bound, Marin’s longstanding provider of services to homeless families.

Join AAI in supporting the Dominican Sisters’ transitional housing unit:

The San Rafael City Council will be asked to uphold the appeal on Monday May 15th, 7:00pm at San Rafael City Hall, 1400 Fourth Avenue. Please save the date and spread the word. Come support the efforts of the aging Sisters who want to do good in their community. This is a chance to ask the Mayor and Council members to recognize that there is a housing crisis in Marin County, to support the efforts of a senior community that wants to help, and to uphold the decision of the Zoning Administrator.

Contact Linda Jackson:

linda.m.jackson@agingactioninitiative.org

About Aging Action Initiative
The purpose of the Aging Action Initiative is to promote a countywide age-friendly environment, especially for those in need, collectively created by a strong network of service providers through public education, policy advocacy, and service coordination. The initiative is a collective effort of over 65 different agencies, grassroots organizations, commissions and neighborhood groups, funded by the County of Marin, and coordinated by MARINSPACE.

Please \"like\" us to stay connected: