Senior citizens are one of the groups most vulnerable to heat. And, with tempatures reaching an all-time high of 103 degrees July 29 and expected to hit the high-90s today, Seattle’s heat wave is in full effect.
“I’ve never seen heat like this before,” Ballard Manor resident Arline Carnagie said. “And, I’ve lived in Washington all my life.”
Ballard’s retirement living facilities are doing what they can to make sure their residents stay cool and comfortable.
Ballard Landmark staff are encouraging its residents to come out of their rooms, only some of which are equipped with air conditioning, and spend time in the air-conditioned common rooms.
Landmark resident Sara Throop said she was glad to escape her room, where two fans aren’t doing much to combat the heat, and watch a Mariners game and movies in the common areas.
Bob Schwalbe, another Landmark resident, said the Landmark is the best place for senior citizens during the heat wave.
“The whole staff has been very protective of the residents,” he said. “This is great as far as I’m concerned.”
Low-income senior apartments, Meridian Manor, hosted Mayor Greg Nickels as he announced funding that would preserve and rehabilitate 179 low-income senior housing and construction of 70 units of affordable housing for working individuals and families.
A total of $8.1 million would go to those projects, Nickels said Wednesday, July 22.
“We’re using the (housing) levy to leverage some additional dollars, federal stimulus and state dollars,” Nickels said. “We do that all the time, and typically through our levies we’ve been able to leverage three to four dollars for every dollar of housing levying we invest.”
The funds will help rehabilitate three separate apartment buildings for seniors with annual incomes of less than about $18,000 a year. It will also help with construction of a new apartment building in the Rainier Valley for individuals who make about $35,000 a year and families of three earning about $45,000 a year.
Bill Rumpf, deputy director of the Office of Housing, assisted Nickels in presenting the funding awards and said that they would be committing $3 million from the Seattle Housing Levy for the purchase of Meridian Manor.
Take out that magnifying glass, get your notepad ready and hone in on your sleuthing skills for the fourth annual Gumshoe 5k Walk to support the Greenwood Senior Center.
Not your average three mile walk, the Gumshoe 5k requires walkers to solve simple clues as they make their way through the Phinney and Greenwood neighborhoods.
This year gumshoes can participate in the walk from August 6 to 17.
Started by Mike Veitenhans four years ago, it was an idea of his to help raise money for the senior center.
“The first year we had about 75 walkers and last year there was about 250 walkers,” said Judy Mirante, Greenwood Senior Center board member.
This year the focus is on getting Phinney/Greenwood businesses involved.
“One of the things that is different about this walk is that it involves a lot of the businesses in the community,” Mirante said. “This year for the MiniGumshoe contest, stores have agreed to place a Gumshoe sticker around the store and contestants are to identify the words associated with each sticker.”
In doing so contestants are entered to win a number of prizes and certificates from participating local businesses.
Mayor Greg Nickels has announced the city of Seattle will receive federal stimulus funding to help provide more nutritious meals to low-income seniors at senior centers and community sites, and to deliver meals to home-bound elderly persons.
Seattle will also receive funds for job training for older workers.
“This funding provides more meals for low-income seniors at a critical time,” said Nickels in a statement. “The recession has created a greater need for food assistance and other basic services and the stimulus funds will help us meet that demand.”
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 provides grants for meals for low-income older Americans in need. Seattle funds nutrition services countywide and will receive $457,583 in ARRA funds. This represents a 14 percent increase over the $3.2 million already allocated in 2009 for senior nutrition programs.
This new funding will provide approximately 52,500 more congregate meals to more than 2,600 people; it will also provide home-delivered food, including 28,053 meals for 150 seniors, and 3,744 bags of produce for nearly 900 home-bound seniors.
On July 16, the Seattle City Council’s Finance and Budget committee voted to support small business, workforce development and senior programs and unanimously passed three pieces of legislation to boost the economy.
The following was approved by the committee and will be taken up by the Full Council July 20 at 2 p.m.
● Raising the B&O Tax exemption to $100,000 from $80,000, providing relief to small businesses.
● Accepting Federal Stimulus grant money (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) to fund summer youth employment and senior nutritional services.
“This is another step forward in fulfilling our Economic Recovery goals by providing relief and jobs for our citizens” said council president Richard Conlin.
“While I’m concerned about declining revenues, I’m committed to supporting small businesses wherever we can,” said council member Jean Godden, chair of the Finance and Budget Committee. “Their success is crucial to the success of our city and local economy.”
Thanks to residents of Columbia Lutheran Home and never-diminishing popularity of candy, the Ballard Food Bank received more than $600 worth of donations July 10.
The residents sold candy at the front desk and donated some of their own money in order to raise the $600, which was used to buy food, razors, socks, toilet paper and much more. They also had enough left over for a nearly $240 check to the food bank.
“One resident bought mayonnaise because she grew up in the Depression and knows how to stretch a food budget,” said Ellen Murray, Columbia Lutheran Home’s activity director.
Residents said it is a great feeling to help those in need, they only wish their donation could have been double what it was.
On top of the residents’ donation, staff and family members also donated to the food bank.
Columbia Lutheran Home’s resident council votes on a different outreach project every few months. For the past decade, they have been donating to the Salvation Army at Christmas time and are currently writing letters to soldiers and members of the Peace Corps.
Columbia Lutheran Home is located at 4700 Phinney Ave. N.
Doris Jones has a busy life; she spends time with her family, takes her granddaughter to ballet and, of course, tends her flower beds. Plus, twice a week she drives seniors to medical appointments through Senior Services’ Volunteer Transportation Program.
Jones became involved with volunteer transportation when she found herself with a little extra time on her hands. She had been driving an elderly friend from a nursing home to medical appointments until her friend passed away. She wanted to continue helping seniors and she likes driving.
When she heard about volunteer transportation at church, it seemed like the perfect fit. With her busy family life, the program’s flexibility appeals to her – she can drive when she wants to and where she wants to.
“If you want to help seniors, this is the program," said Jones. "The people that I take to the doctor are each unique, and I like hearing their stories.”
The Ballard Northwest Senior Center has a free job bank to match job seekers with employers.
“This is wonderful way for the senior center to help bring together and serve our community.” Carlye Teel, senior center director. “In these tough economic times, we all need to help one another and this is one way the center can serve.”
Since its inception in 2008, the Job Bank has matched many job seekers with individuals and business employers.
Businesses and individuals who need work done and individuals who are looking for work may register with the job bank. The job bank matches the needs of each party and assists the parties to make contact.
The potential employer and employee negotiate the particulars and pay of any job.
The Job Bank is a free resource for any member of the Ballard, Magnolia, North Seattle and Queen Anne community. The registration process for both parties consists of a written application, including a criminal background check, and a live interview with the Job Bank Coordinator.
Jobs may be at an individual’s home or a business, permanent positions, temporary or one time only, both paid and volunteer.