Seniors make up 20% of the Los Gatos population, or one in five residents, Census data shows – and that’s expected to grow significantly in the next decade.
Los Gatos Town Council took some steps toward bolstering services for seniors in town at its March 7 meeting.
Council had endorsed a “roadmap” of short- and long-term goals to support the town’s fast-growing older adult population last month, marking the first step in implementing changes.
“I really believe this is going to be transformational to the town and not just for our older adults but for all our residents in the town,” Councilmember Matthew Hudes said. Hudes worked closely with the Senior Services Committee, which was established in August 2021.
Council disbanded that committee, and now the Community Health and Senior Services Committee will get to work on some of the goals in the road map.
“We are prepared to proceed with implementing the goals under the road map,” committee chair Jeffery Blum said. “We’re ready to go.”
Council endorsed the road map at its Feb. 7 meeting and allocated $225,000 to Los Gatos Saratoga Recreation to continue the senior services and programs it provides.
Lisanne Kennedy, recreation director for LGS Rec’s 55 plus program, said more than 731 seniors use the center’s 1,500 programs and services. Kennedy said the town would need to provide additional funds to keep programming .at this level.
Senior Services Commission Chair Tom Picraux was awarded a $1,500 community grant to pay for his application to create a nonprofit to support the town’s senior services efforts.
“Our goal is to move from a town with one of the regionally lowest, least coordinated efforts for senior services to a thriving age-friendly town where older adults provide substantial contributions and support,” the commission’s report reads.
Picruax said the nonprofit will model itself on the Friends of the Los Gatos Library, meaning it will be completely separate from the town in its fundraising efforts.
The commission included building or renovating a new senior center in its roadmap, which could be costly. The nonprofit will be able to raise money for these kinds of projects.
Council also tasked the Complete Streets and Transportation Committee with developing a shuttle or transportation system, and voted to work on affordable housing efforts for seniors after the town completes some state-mandated plans for future residential growth.
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Source:: The Mercury News