Contra Costa Supervisor John Gioia and Richmond Mayor Eduardo Martinez joined a well-attended groundbreaking ceremony for the Centers for Elders’ Independence’s West County facility on Friday, Nov. 3.
CEI, which provides the rapidly growing population of local older residents with medical and social services near their homes, is building a more than 19,000 square foot center at the site of the former Thrift Town at 3645 San Pablo Dam Rd. in El Sobrante.
Local partners, community leaders and members joined CEI employees and leadership at the groundbreaking for the new center, which is expected to open late next year.
CEI CEO and President Maria Zamora opened the groundbreaking with a land acknowledgement to the Ohlone tribe as the original custodians of the land being built on, according to CEI. During the ceremony, Zamora received a Certificate of Recognition on behalf of CEI from the office of Sen. Nancy Skinner.
The new center aims to provide services to a senior citizen population that is expected to skyrocket in the coming decades. Currently, over 18,000 seniors are using Medi-Cal in West County and have minimal options. Travel is often required to access multiple services.
CEI’s West County facility will feature a sizable clinical team area, behavioral health room and a private observation room, as well as social and activity centers, a dining room, library, computer lab, personal care area, serving kitchen and an outdoor patio. It will also include a spacious senior rehabilitation gym with exercise equipment, a treatment room and a mock apartment for occupational therapy sessions.
CEI expects to create approximately 40 new jobs at the new location, including nurses, physicians, rehabilitation therapists, drivers, home care aides, social workers, activity specialists, and personal care assistants.
Earlier this year, CEI received $1 million from the State of California toward building the new CEI location in El Sobrante. CEI expressed gratitude to Sen. Skinner for supporting it and California seniors.