Mayor Richard M. Daley today cut the ribbon to a newly constructed $2 million dollar state-of-the-art senior center located at 5071 W. Congress Parkway in the Austin community. The center is the second of ten new senior centers to be built by the Chicago Department on Aging and the Public Building Commission through the mayor’s senior initiatives, “Neighborhoods Alive with Seniors!”
“The Neighborhoods Alive with Seniors initiative addresses the many needs and improves their quality of life of Chicago’s seniors – our city’s most valuable asset,” Said Mayor Richard M. Daley. “The seniors of the Austin community now have a facility right in their neighborhood to socialize with friends, learn computer skills, to exercise and to have lunch.”
The Austin Senior Satellite Center will be operated and managed in partnership by the South Austin Coalition Community Council and Bethel New Life.
With the completion of the Austin center, the City of Chicago has invested a total of $4 million dollars into the Neighborhoods Alive with Seniors initiative. The total cost of the ten senior centers will be $20 million dollars. Three other centers, currently under construction, are expected to open soon in the Roseland, Englewood and Portage Park communities.
The Austin Senior Satellite Center will feature a Golden Diner lunchroom, fitness room equipped with treadmills and weights, a multipurpose room equipped with computers, and a library. In addition to recreational opportunities, seniors will have a direct link to community-based programs.
The Mayor reminded seniors to sign-up for the Department on Aging’s $enior$ave program that taps seniors to merchant discounts. Since the program was introduced last August, over 21,000 seniors have registered for the program where more than 400 merchants currently offer discounts.
Mayor Daley also mentioned the Department on Aging will soon launch their Crisis Intervention program to help identify isolated senior citizens before they go into crisis. Seniors were also asked to contact the city’s 311 non-emergency number if they need services during the cold winter months.