Senior Engagement Program

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Many organizations in southeast Michigan are unprepared to take advantage of the opportunities presented by our growing older adult population or to respond to the needs of people as they age. The Senior Engagement Program is aimed at providing organizations that do not traditionally serve, engage or target older adults in their work with the opportunity and resources to learn, collaborate and act critically and creatively about how to improve their operations to better address fundamental aging issues.

With the support of the Imani Fund, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is pleased to support the Senior Engagement Program. The program’s core elements include: Innovation Grants, Community Learning, and Capacity Building Grants. This program is designed for nonprofits who are non-traditional senior service organizations interested in assuming leadership on issues facing southeast Michigan’s aging population. Preference will be given to applicants that engage at least one key partner with expertise in aging and the interest and capacity to effectively collaborate with the applying agency on the proposed project.

The Senior Engagement Program is committed to helping participating organizations:

  • Reshape their current operations to be more welcoming, inclusive and supportive to the largest growing demographic group in our region.
  • Learn more about how to serve or engage older adults and develop partnerships with organizations with expertise in serving and/or engaging older adults in their work.
  • Enhance collaboration and improve the capacity of organizations to serve and/or engage older adults and address the fundamental issues of aging.

Grants Awarded:

  • Michigan Disability Rights Coalition, Michigan Alliance of TimeBanks and Bridging Communities for support for senior engagement in the Chadsey/Condon community TimeBank.
  • Corporation for a Skilled Workforce and the Luella Hannan Memorial Foundation for support for a regional interdisciplinary coalition on mature employment, training and volunteerism.
  • TechTown and Operation ABLE for support for an entrepreneurial program for mature adults.
  • Transportation Riders United and SMART (Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation), REMA (Regional Elder Mobility Alliance) and Data Driven Detroit for support for local transportation alternatives for seniors in Hamtramck, Inkster, St. Clair Shores and Waterford.
  • East Michigan Environmental Action Council and Luella Hannan Memorial Foundation, Building Movement Detroit, Michigan Welfare Rights Association, and Barbara Jordan Elementary for support for engagement of Detroit seniors and youth in addressing food security, environmental justice and healthy, sustainable living in four Detroit schools.

These partners have formed the Senior Engagement Program Regional Collaborative to support and learn from one another as they engage in innovative work to better engage and support seniors in southeast Michigan. An integral purpose of the Collaborative is to develop and share new learnings and knowledge about how to reshape an organization's current operations to engage seniors in new or enhanced ways. The Collaborative will provide a forum for participating organizations to learn from and build upon one another's experiences in addressing issues of aging, mobilizing, and implementing culture change strategies in order to leverage opportunities for maximum impact in the community.