The Atascadero Senior Center has a variety of activities for seniors 50 years of age and older. For $10 per year, members get access to the center and all its activities.
“In this community, we find that a lot of people don’t know we exist,” said Carey Rogers, who has been installed for her second year as president.
In addition to being a place for seniors to gather and attend activities, the center also loans out wheelchairs, walkers, shower seats and crutches. Those items aren’t limited to seniors, but to anyone who is need of them. Rogers said there is no cost to borrow the items.
“We have so much surplus,” said Gloria Lautt, who was newly installed as treasurer.
“That’s one of the things we find is the most appreciated,” Rogers added.
A few years ago, the senior center had no members and few activities, so a new group of volunteers stepped up and reinvigorated the nonprofit center.
“We have something going on every day,” Rogers said.
Lautt said there are two types of groups that use the building.
“One type is someone who wants to come in and give classes that is open to everyone that would be sponsored by the senior center,” Lautt said. “And the other type is a group that would like to use the senior center, but it would be a nominal fee to cover cleaning and utilities.”
The outside groups don’t have to be all seniors, she added.
“It’s a great service to the community to offer facilities at such a low price,” Lautt said.
“In the evening, parking is no issue,” Rogers added.
Another important part of the senior center is that it is the home of Meals That Connect, which provides lunch to homebound seniors 60 years and older. In addition to delivering meals Monday through Friday, meals are also served in the dining room on-site for any senior. Meals are $2.75 per meal, but Rogers said that if someone is not able to pay for lunch, they are still able to have the meal.
“[The dining room] was full the other day,” Rogers said.
Meals That Connect are in need of volunteer drivers to deliver meals. Volunteers receive a free meal the days that they deliver.
Any local senior is eligible to become a member at any time.
“If anyone is interested in joining the senior center, they might want to attend a board meeting,” Lautt said.
“Anybody is welcome to come,” Rogers added. “We would like for more people to come to more of our membership meetings.”
The Atascadero Senior Center was formed and incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in 1974. The nonprofit purchased its building at 5905 East Mall, across the street from Sunken Gardens in 1977. The center is staffed with a volunteer receptionist Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., giving members access to free WiFi, computers, books, puzzles, games and loaning of medical equipment.
“[At that time, the center] had over 100 members and 12 people on the board,” Rogers said.
Today, the nonprofit has 25 member and four board members.
For more information, call 805-466-4674.