Many area residents are having their lives enriched thanks to programs sponsored and/or run by the Community Services Agency.
Seniors enjoyed several events this past year and are looking forward to several others in the near future.
The Senior Activity Center on Walker Street has been averaging up to 600 seniors a week. Some 121 new members joined the ranks in the last three months of last year.
“We serve up to 750 meals per month,” said Sharon Westfield, senior center director.
Last year, seniors listened to the Charleston Elementary School choir sing a Christmas program. Seniors enjoyed their annual Christmas Party at Bradley County High School, with around 550 guests in attendance. Later in December, the senior center’s own gospel singing group gave out gifts, as Life Care and Garden Plaza provided refreshments, in addition to gifts. A chili supper and dance fundraiser on Dec. 20 raised $460.
That’s for past events. Coming up soon is a Valentine’s Party on, you guessed it, Feb. 14 at 10 a.m.
Westfield and the senior center also are planning a special event on Feb. 27 — a Black History Program. Dr. Harry Johnson, who is on the CSA board, will be the speaker. A special meal also is planned for that day.
“All programs and activities are going well at the Center,” Westfield said. “Our pool room participants are growing, as well as Bridge and Line Dancing. If you want to meet good people and have a good time, come and spend some time at the Activity Center.
Second Change is a relatively new program CSA has been sponsoring for not quite a year. The program helps ex-offenders try to straighten out various aspects of their lives that may not be working for them.
Currently, 135 clients have applied for this program.
Between March and October of last year, Second Chance employed 14 clients in the program on a part-time basis in its Job Readiness Program. Nine of this group got some type of full-time job with local employers.
Starting in November of last year to the present, four people are part of CSA’s Job Readiness Program.
“We will hire one more,” said Demetrus Tibbs, Second Chance coordinator.
During the last three months of last year, CSA staff also taught classes to inmates at the Bradley County Justice Center.
IN OTHER PEOPLE NEWS:
Demetrius Ramsey, executive director for CSA, announced at Thursday’s board meeting that three new hires will be introduced at the next meeting in April.