Community effort launches to improve North Richmond senior center

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A community-driven beautification of the crucial North Richmond Multicultural Family Senior Center at 515 Silver Ave. was well underway Saturday.

In celebration of NeighborWorks Week, a national movement of volunteerism spanning from June 2 through June 9, residents, community groups, businesses and public officials have partnered to make the center more inviting to seniors. The center is receiving new interior painting, blinds, as well as landscaping to beautify its patio.

Volunteers joining the effort come from the local neighborhood, Chevron Richmond, Mechanics Bank, NeighborWorks America, Richmond-based Hasan Painting, Supervisor John Gioia’s Office, Congressman DeSaulnier’s office, Assemblymember Tony Thurmond’s office and of course the Community Housing Development Corp. (CHDC), which runs the senior center’s programming.

Work began Friday, continued Saturday and is expected to finish Thursday, June 7.

Chevron Richmond has been a big supporter of the senior center, contributing $15,000 annually to keep it open. That’s because the center, which operates on a shoestring budget, provides a variety of important resources for low-income community members. During the winter holidays last year, 800 local families were fed there.

The center provides hot lunches five days a week, to seniors, along with a safe, inviting place to meet with other seniors. It also offers food to local families in need.

“Our program director, Corinne Sain, believes that if a person walking into that door is hungry, we are going to feed that person,” said Janie Holland, a director with the CHDC. “We don’t want anyone to go hungry.”

The center is also where community leaders and advocates meet regularly to plan programs and projects that uplift the neighborhood’s quality of life.

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