Budget Advocacy Continues to Boost Funding for Senior and Disability Services

Coalition efforts increased funding to match the growing number and needs of seniors and adults with disabilities.  The Dignity Fund Coalition, the Budget Justice Coalition, the Coalition of Agencies Serving the Elderly, the Human Services Network were some of the many groups organizing to see their priorities included in the budget.  An early hearing called by Supervisor Norman Yee provided a platform for testimony filled with touching stories and hard data about what is happening for seniors and adults with disabilities in San Francisco.  Advocacy with individual supervisors and the final budget hearing capped the season.  The Dignity Fund Coalition chose the theme Summer of Love – 50 Years Later to call attention to the need to support those who helped make the City the compassionate, creative, caring, inclusive place it is now.   

The Dignity Fund Coalition will continue to be the place to track the implementation of existing funding and to lay the groundwork for the needs assessment and planning for future years.  The Dignity Fund Coalition meets the 4th Wednesday of the month at Independent Living Resource Center at 825 Howard Street and the meetings are open.  

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Work Matters! Forum Focuses on Opportunities for Seniors and People with Disabilities

CLC hosted a Work Matters! Forum on May 24 to highlight the need for additional job and service opportunities for San Francisco seniors and people with disabilities. 

One of the best parts of the day was “The positive energy of all the speakers!  They conveyed what they truly believe in and respect seniors as equal partners.”

About 70 people met with local organizations, listened to speakers and panelists, offered suggestions and insights on challenges to finding jobs, and got hands-on-help with signing up for paid and volunteer opportunities. 

Many participants were enthusiastic about the chance to meet with other people and organizations dedicated to increasing work opportunities. Several described the long process of finding ways to contribute, with one noting, “The fact that you address this…is fantastic for me. I have been struggling with this issue for over 15 years and feeling alone in my struggle!” As another attendee described, the best part was “Seeing so many other people in the audience who are looking for meaningful work and not letting ‘agesim’ defeat them.”

Thanks to all the organizations that participated: Community Technology Network, Dept. of Aging and Adult Services, Disability Rights California, Encore.org, Experience Corps, Felton Institute/Family Service Agency. San Francisco Public Library, Self-Help for the Elderly. SF Connected, Toolworks, and Videographers in Production. 

SF ReServe’s new program Director, Alicia Crawford, helps individuals interested in signing up for the SF ReServe Program navigate there way through the online process.

As part of the forum, we officially launched our new initiative, SF ReServe, to match part time jobs at community organizations with talented seniors and people with disabilities. The program is the San Francisco affiliate of ReServe, a national nonprofit that has successfully matched many hundreds of seniors with community organizations since it began in New York 12 years ago.

SF ReServe has received funding from the San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult Services, and has begun matching local ReServists with community organizations. Six are already placed and working, and more are ready to be matched. We are actively seeking additional organizational partners and ReServists. To apply or to find more information, visit www.sfreserve.org.  

 

SF Digital Inclusion Week a Huge Success

Congratulations to the San Francisco Public Library for bringing this year’s Digital Inclusion Week to the City’s Libraries. From the opening panel of Internet Service Providers to the Resource Fair and scores of workshops and demos at the Main Library and branches all around the City, the event had something for everyone.  Thanks to Supervisors Farrell and Mar for helping kick off the day, and to Digital Inclusion Fellow Wenwen Shi and Library Director Luis Herrera for their leadership in organizing and supporting the myriad of activities.   The program for the week is a reminder of all the ways that the Library system, in working with community partners, is building a bridge for inclusion. 

The Library’s press release gives more background on highlights of the week – and now we keep building digital inclusion until Digital Inclusion Week 2018!

CLC Computer Trainers Honored at Digital Leaders Event

Community Living Campaign was delighted to receive the Digital Inclusion in the Community – Older Adults Award at the Digital Leaders event hosted by the Community Technology Network (CTN) at the Twitter Headquarters. We were honored to be included in the impressive group of seven other individuals and organizations. For a full list of awards and honorees, see CTN’s blog post.

Thanks to CLC’s dedicated trainers and staff, we were honored for being a consistent leader in efforts to increase digital inclusion for San Francisco seniors. We view digital inclusion as an essential part of empowering seniors and people with disabilities, providing them with the tools and resources they need to age and thrive in their communities. This ranges from working directly with participants to increase technology skills to launching and coordinating the cross-sector SF Tech Council to advocate for digital inclusion and increased resources.

Over the past three years, our CLC’s trainers—often seniors and people with disabilities themselves—have provided over 7,000 hours of technology training to approximately 1,500 participants. At Adult Day Services centers and beyond, they’ve helped us provide adaptive technologies and strategies to increase access for neighbors with vision and hearing loss. Most recently, we’ve  incorporated computer training and language support into our new SF ReServe initiative to match seniors and people with disabilities with part-time jobs at local community organizations.

Many of our awesome trainers, tutors and supporters were able to attend and are pictured below.

See more photos from the event below. Most photos are courtesy of CTN’s photographer, Steven Gregory Photography

Housing and Food Security and Reduced Isolation Still Top Budget Advocacy

The Dignity Fund measure – Prop I –  laid a foundation for more dependable funding and planning, but it is just that, the foundation.  Now we must build support for a budget that more equitably addresses the needs and aspiration of old San Franciscans and those with disabilities.  This year’s May 16th Budget Rally was part of the building blocks for the future.  The Rally, co-sponsored by Senior & Disability Action (SDA), the Coalition of Agencies Serving the Elderly (CASE) and the Community Alliance of Disability Advocates (CADA), were joined by representatives of a number of organizations and neighborhood groups to highlight this year’s priorities.

Thanks to Supervisors Norman Yee, Hillary Ronen, Jeff Sheehy, and representative for Sandra Fewer for coming and showing their interest and support!  

See key priorities for the budget process here.  

Remember, the big annual budget hearing at City Hall is June 19, starting at 9:00 a.m. and running until all have spoken.