Facts about Milwaukee County Senior Centers
October 2017

Locations: The five Senior Center funded by Milwaukee County and operated by Interfaith are strategically located to be within a short travel distance for every Milwaukee County older adult.

   • Clinton & Bernice Rose Senior Center, 3045 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Drive
   • Kelly Senior Center, 6100 S. Lake Drive
   • McGovern Park Senior Center, 4500 W. Custer Avenue
   • Washington Park Senior Center, 4420 W. Vliet Street
   • Wilson Senior Center, 2601 W. Howard Avenue

Activities: Each Senior Center is open five days a week and offers a wide variety of fitness, wellness, personal enrichment, recreation, education, and travel activities, most of which are free. Fitness Center Programs operate at each center and each center is a Senior Dining Site as well. In addition, a social worker from the Aging Resource Center makes regular visits to each center to help seniors deal with issues pertaining to their health, legal matters, transportation, and other problems. The emphasis at each center is on supporting good health so that older adults can enjoy maximum independence and be the strong elders our community needs.

   • 319,973 service units were provided (service unit = 1 person doing 1 activity)
   • Registered members averaged 40.9 service units per year
   • 6,613 Stock Boxes with healthy foods distributed
   • 386 volunteers engaged provided 28,749 volunteer hours
   • 405 new activities provided (not offered in previous year)

Collaborations:  The Senior Centers bring in a host of community resources for older adults via a network of 86 collaborative partners including AARP, Alzheimer’s Association, Concordia University, Genealogical Society, Historic Milwaukee, Independence First, MATC, Next Act Theatre, Respect Care, SDC, Synergy Homecare, United Health Care, Urban Ecology Center, UW-Extension Nutrition Center, UWM, Vision Forward, and the Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging.  These collaborations represent thousands of dollars for services for older adults that would otherwise be inaccessible or unaffordable. This tremendous community investment would be lost if the Senior Centers were to lose significant public funding.

People Served: In 2016, the five Senior Centers had 7,822 registered members (many thousands more attended events or meetings at the Centers).  Current (2017) facts about the people served by the Senior Centers:

   • 64.2% are women; 35.8% are men
   • 51.8% are White; 42.1% are Black/African-American; 2.5% are Hispanic; .8% are Asian;
     .6% are American Indian;  .8% are two or more races; 1.5% are classified as other or
     are unreported
   • 32.8% have incomes below the federal poverty level
   • 10.0% are under 60 years of age; 57.7% are 60-74; 23.6% are 75-84; and 8.6% are 85
      or older

Sources: Interfaith 2016 End of Year Statistics; Milwaukee County Department on Aging Monthly Unduplicated Service Report, January-September 2017
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Milwaukee's Older People depend on Senior Centers for food, friendship and healthy activities

Don't Let Chris Abele Take Services
                                from Senior Citizens.

Milwaukee County has five Senior Centers - Clinton Rose, Wilson Park, Washington Park, McGovern Park and the Kelly Center. More than 7,000 older people come to these Centers everyday for lunch and activities.

Milwaukee was one of the first cities in Wisconsin to offer a congregate dining program to its older adult population and has been serving meals to seniors in community settings since 1973. The Senior Dining Program provides hot, healthy meals and gives seniors opportunities to socialize. Senior Centers offer exercise class, card games, crafts, health education, entertainment and company thanks in part to the 386 volunteers who gave 28,700 hours in 2016 to help with activities. More than 50% of the people at the Centers live alone and the Centers are their main opportunity to be with people and feel connected to the world. The AARP Foundation’s Connect2Affect  has called social isolation a “growing health epidemic” among older adults. It equates the health risks of prolonged isolation with smoking 15 cigarettes daily.

   However, In spite of the importance of the Senior Centers to   
   Milwaukee elders, County Executive Chris Abele's recommends
   that Milwaukee cut $200,000 from Senior Centers and eliminates
   4 full time positions including the coordinator of senior centers.
   He proposed these cuts in his 2018  Budget for the Department
   on Aging.

Another threat is the Strategic Planning process for Senior Centers underway with a small group of persons handpicked by the Department on Aging -- a planning process that excludes seniors. There are strong indications that the County Administration intends to close all the Centers over time to reduce County operational costs. The results of this so-called planning for the future is to be released to the County Executive in December and only later to the Commission on Aging which is the County's official representative group for Seniors.

At public hearings over the past month, senior citizens and supporters have opposed cutting back on Senior Centers but so far County Executive Abele isn't listening. We need to add our collective voice to the opposition and protect the Senior Centers.

There are many opportunities for us to be heard.

1. County Supervisor Peggy West -PUBLIC HEARING on 2018 budget

Monday, October 16 at 6pm
Washington Park Senior Center
4420 West Vliet

2. Senior Center Planning Session I

Tuesday, October 17 from 9-11am
Clinton Rose Senior Center
3045 N Dr Martin Luther King Drive

3. Senior Center Planning Session II

Tuesday, October 24 from 9AM-11AM
Wilson Park Senior Center
2601 W Howard Ave

4. County Board Budget Hearings

Monday, October 16 at 6PM
Washington Park Senior Center
4420 West Vliet

5. County Board Public Hearing

Monday, October 30 at 6:30 PM
Marcus Center for the Performing Arts
929 N Water Street

View photos of Foxconn / County Budget Meeting on September 28th