by Carol Leish
Phase 4, of the Senior Strategic Plan’s community meeting occurred on January 27-28, 2020, and focused on the findings and visioning meetings that were held in December, 2019, which was Phase 3.
Phase 2 included a senior needs assessment survey, which was completed after Phase 1, which entailed community engagement meetings. GreenPlay, LLC’s consultant, Dr. Theresa Pambroke, “Was hired by money provided by the Ventura City Council, that was allocated from Measure O funding,” according to Ventura City Council Member, Cheryl Heitmann. “We wanted to find ways to improve the community. In fact, yesterday we just opened a 55-bed homeless shelter. We need to focus on homeless seniors, especially on a way to house them in inclement weather conditions.”
During the Phase 4 meetings several goals were focused on in order to deal with the key challenges, which included not enough staff for seniors; the need for more money to run senior programming and important issues of housing and transportation for seniors in the City of Ventura.
The first goal focused on working with partners in order to improve housing in order for senior to be able to age in place. The development of affordable housing is important, especially with the high cost of living within the city.
The second goal focused on the need to improve transportation, in which more money needs to be allocated to deal with. This is a big priority at the city level.
Goal three focused on the need for overall staffing in order to provide for people of all ages.
Goal four focused on utilizing partners, who are already within the community, in order to expand their reach. This includes a leadership task force to meet on a regular basis.
Goal five focused on the need for staffing needs to be increased for all, especially adding one more senior position at the Ventura Avenue Senior Center.
Goal six focuses on the importance of regularly updating the website:www.cityofventura.ca.gov/seniors.
Goal seven focused on the additional needs for programs for senior: Increasing physical fitness and sports; Making sure programs are offered also on the east side of Ventura; Expanding the senior nutrition program; and addressing the need/demand for medical help.
Goal 8 focuses on the need for improved facilities and amenities for seniors, and making sure places are ADA (Americans with Disabilities, 1990) compliant.
Goal 9 focuses on the utilization of more space at the Ventura Ave. Senior Center; or, co-use within a multi-generational space in order to serve people between the ages of 8-year-old to 80-year-old.
Goal 10 focuses on the need for funding for additional staff; and, looking into funding through grants.
Emily Fox, Community Partnerships Manager, City of Ventura, said: “I’m excited about us coming together, and meeting together. The next phase will occur in March, 2020. If you have a community neighbors/groups that want to reach out, let me know. I appreciate the groups that are providing feedback.” For more information, visit: www.cityofventura.ca.gove/seniors. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; (805) 658-4793.