Whistlestop’s Mission Plaza

August 13, 2015 | Whistlestop’s goal is to transform its current building into a transit-oriented, earthquake safe senior center with on-site services and senior housing to meet the needs of our growing senior population. The urgency of the Whistlestop project is driven by the arrival of the SMART train in 2016 which will operate just inches from the existing Whistlestop-building on Tamalpais Avenue. Noise and vibration from SMART train operations will make it difficult to work in the current structure, due to the age and outdated condition of the current Whistlestop building.

The transformation of the existing building will allow Whistlestop to manage the impacts of the new train station, allow for a modernization and expand facilities that serve seniors all over Marin, and create critically needed, very affordable housing for seniors. Whistlestop has partnered with Eden Housing to help realize their vision for a new facility that will include 41 units of on-site affordable senior housing to complement its Active Aging Center and Jackson Café.

These studios and one bedroom units will provide homes to very low to extremely low income seniors, aged 62 and older, who earn less than 50% of the Area Median Income. The project will include high quality amenities such as a community room, a computer center and library, landscaped terraces, and furnished lobbies for social interaction. The units will offer quality, safe homes at an affordable rate. As the first affordable transit-oriented community for older adults in Marin County, the development will also allow residents a high degree of mobility without a car.

Combined with the on-site services offered by Whistlestop and the amenities in downtown San Rafael, seniors will live active lives in a large, socially connected community. Seniors will enjoy numerous opportunities such as fitness classes, special events, game groups, and outreach services bringing people together, active social connections, and new learning experiences. Residents will also be eligible to receive low-cost lunches on-site at Whistlestop’s Jackson Café. Other important amenities within half a mile include pharmacies, banks, retail stores and restaurants, and coffee shops.

Whistlestop is the oldest and largest senior services provider and paratransit operator in all of Marin County. Due to its location next to the County’s regional transportation hub, the San Rafael Transit Center and future SMART station, it is ideally positioned to serve the aging population in Marin in the most efficient ways possible. Whistlestop must be located within three blocks of transit because 40% of seniors traveling to Whistlestop use public transportation, and many have limited mobility, Whistlestop’s central location and expanded transit options will make it easier for Marin’s seniors to travel to the Center.

Eden Housing has laid the ground work to ensure the station and building are aesthetically pleasing, and that the Whistlestop project improves the urban environment for downtown shoppers, diners and visitors. This collaboration and leadership from the private and non-profit sector is particularly needed in an era without redevelopment agencies. Eden’s team worked with community stakeholders to design an anchor structure with open spaces where the community can gather, as well as improve and enliven this corner of downtown San Rafael for all residents.

Marin County residents are the fastest aging population in the nation. The population living and moving to Marin is a much older demographic than anywhere else in the United States. According to the US Census Bureau, more than one in every three Marin residents will be 65 or older by 2030. Meeting the needs of our aging community requires a variety of improvements to existing services such as more convenient public transit, better access to affordable health care, and increased availability of senior meal and home-delivered food programs.

Click on this link to see the original article http://www.edenhousing.org/outer/whistlestops-mission-plaza

For more information about Whistlestop’s program and services please visit the Whistlestop website at http://www.whistlestop.org/

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Science of Aging part 2

August 2015 | Marin Magazine

Marin County’s top minds weigh in on preventing cognitive decline, optimizing digestive health, taking care of telomeres and extending life span.

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About Aging in Marin

Why have we created this Website?

Most of us, with a little luck, will grow old. For some it’s an adventure, for others, a challenge — and for most — a bit of both. Today one in four residents of Marin is 60 years or older and by 2030, one in three residents will be a senior. There are many individuals and organization working together to address this changing demographic.\

The Aging in Marin website was created and is maintained by MarinSpace as part of our ongoing effort to increase the collaborative capacity of our community organizations.It is a collection of information about the various collaborative efforts underway throughout Marin to support healthy active living for all older adults.

Why is this important?

The 2013/14 Grand Jury examined Marin County’s ability to provide for its senior citizens, especially those who require support to live safe and healthy lives. A 2013 AARP article looks at the aging of the Baby Boom and the Growing Care Gap, one of the consequences will be that, as our population ages, service demands will rise. The Buck Institute for Research on Aging seeks to enhance lengthen the healthy years of life.

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An Interactive Timeline of Reports & Research on Aging in Marin

Timeline Library

Below is a comprehensive directory of needs assessments and community studies related to aging in Marin

Developed from the MARINSPACE 2014-2015 Shared Space & Services Study is this timeline library. It includes all of the needs assessments and community studies that have been done on Aging in Marin. Direct links to the reports can be found at the end of each description. You can also click here to view the timeline in a full screen version.

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