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Where will the College Park Senior’s Bus Go?

City of College Park Senior Bus

There is no fee for College Park Seniors

The City of College Park Seniors Program offers curb-to-curb bus transportation to City residents aged 62 and older. A minimum 2- business day notice is required. Rides are provided as scheduling allows.

Priority is given for medical appointments and shopping within Prince George’s County, inside a 7- mile radius of the city.

COVID-19 Vaccines
Extended boundary transportation service may be scheduled to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine, within Prince George’s County, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between the hours of 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. More limited service may be available for vaccines on Monday, Wednesday and Friday after 3:00 p.m.

Rides are subject to scheduling and capacity restrictions.

Please call the Seniors Program at 301-345-8100 to schedule or for more information.

[City of College Park]

City May Rent Office Space in North College Park for Seniors Program

At tonight’s meeting, the Council will consider a 5-year lease for Seniors Program office space at 10007 Rhode Island Ave, next to Gailes Violin Shop in north College Park.

Currently, the Seniors Staff is spread across 3 locations (Attick Towers, Spellman House, and United Methodist Church). Attick Towers has indicated that the space the Seniors Program occupies is needed by the Housing Authority.

As well, the office space the Seniors program occupies at the United Methodist Church is currently part of the space allocated to the Children’s Guild/Monarch Preschool’s space at the church and The Children’s Guild reserves the right to ask the Seniors Program to vacate the space if needed. City’s goal is to have the staff primarily located in one office space for cohesiveness and efficiency of workflow. Space for Senior Program activities is currently still available in the fellowship hall at United Methodist Church when gatherings.

The landlords have indicated that they would cover the cost of outfitting the space with partitions/office walls if the City enters into a 5 year lease; if not the cost of outfitting the space would be the responsibility of the City. The rent will be $1,500 per month, includes utilities, trash removal, char services, snow removal.

City to Join AARP Livable Communities Network

At tomorrow’s meeting, the Council will consider approving a letter of commitment to AARP in support of the City’s membership application in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities. The City of College Park Seniors Committee is making this application, on behalf of the City, for membership in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities. A letter of commitment from the City Council is required to accompany the application.
The letter addresses the intent of the City to engage in a collaborative process, particularly involving older persons, to develop an age-friendly action plan to make the City a more livable community. This effort was previously supported by the City Council.
Additionally, the Council will consider supporting of an application to the Planning Assistance to Municipalities and Communities Program (PAMC) for preparation of an Age-Friendly Action Plan under the American Association of Retired People (AARP) Livable Communities Program. This effort has the support of the City Council. A requirement of membership is the preparation of an age-friendly action plan. The Committee has chosen to focus on housing, transportation, social participation, health services and community support, and communication and information. The PAMC is a program offered by the M-NCPPC that offers staff and/or consultant assistance in support of local projects that meet the goals and policies of approved plans.
This request is for consultant services to work with the Seniors Committee on a planning process that includes community engagement, a livability assessment and three-year action plan. The value of consultant services is up to $50,000. M-NCPPC will manage the consultant contract and City staff will provide support services.

Opportunity to Help Seniors in Need

This message was shared by Delegate Joseline Pena-melnyk, about an excellent opportunity to help our seniors in need during this challenging time. Here is the site to register: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040b4eabaa22a1fc1-meal. Please share it with your neighbors and friends.

Meal delivery for low-income seniors
Please review the available slots below and click on the button to sign up. Thank you!
www.signupgenius.com
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Thank you World Central Kitchen for providing food to our seniors this coming week. And thank you also to Katina Tina Rojas Joy and Prince George’s County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks for identifying the need in College Park at Spellman House and Attick Towers. These are the HUD senior housing communities in College Park. Thanks also to Sardi’s which will be providing the meals.

I’m writing to ask for ten volunteers to help with delivery at those locations. Here are the details:

Dates/Times: Next week April 13-17 from 11am-2pm.
Protective gear will be provided: gloves and N-95 masks.

Senior Program Expands in Hollywood

Good news! Starting from yesterday (October 1st), City expanded its senior program in Hollywood. On every weekday, College Park senior activities will be hosted at the Fellowship Hall of the College Park United Methodist Church of 9601 Rhode Island Avenue.

The social drop-in will occur on Mondays and Tuesdays from 10:30-12:00, whereas on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 10:30-1:00 senior social activities will take place. Light refreshments will be served on these days.

For more information, please call (301) 345 – 8100.

Tax Credit Bill Coming for P.G. County Seniors and Retired Veterans

County Councilwoman Mary Lehman told me yesterday that at her direction, her staff is requesting that the P.G. County bill is drafted and presented prior to the County Council’s August recess. The bill should make it onto the council agenda by July 11, but it will not be heard in committee until September.

I first came to know about a similar program in Howard and Montgomery county (please see here), and then contacted our two County Council persons representing College Park. Thanks to CM Mary Lehman for her help in getting the bill drafted.

Once the bill gets a number, I will let you all know, so that we can start advocating and lobbying to other County Council members. I’ll also work to get letters of support from the City Councils in College Park and the surrounding cities.

On a related note, our staff has added a worksession item to discuss the possibility of implementing a similar tax credit program on City’s portion of property tax revenue. Once it’s put on the calendar, I’ll let you know.

Thank you all for your interest in this bill.

Property Tax Deferral Program for Elderly and Disabled Residents

Prince George’s County has a property tax deferral program for elderly and disabled residents. The program allows certain qualified residents to postpone paying some property taxes until a later date or event (such as a property sale or death of the owners). The link to the application is below.

http://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/10230

On a related matter, we’re still waiting to hear from our County representatives about the tax credit program that we talked about a few weeks ago.

The City is also looking into ways to explore tax credit programs for the seniors.

I’ll let you know once I find more about these tax credit initiatives.

MD Bill May Help County’s Seniors and Veterans with Tax Credit

During the 2016 Maryland legislative sessions, the State House Bill 898 gave Baltimore City and individual counties in Maryland the option to provide this tax credit for the 2017 tax year to seniors over 65 and retired veterans.

Unfortunately, in order to make the tax credit effective in individual jurisdictions, the respective County would require to pass enabling legislation.

So far the Howard and Montgomery County that their respective County Councils have passed legislation that grants a 20% tax credit on property tax for elderly individuals (over 65) who have lived in there present home for over 40 consecutive years. The same credit is available for retired veterans . It’s believed that the credit is only authorized for 5 years.

We have many seniors and veterans in College Park for whom this would be beneficial, and I plan to ask our two County Council members representing College Park (Mary Lehman and Danielle Glaros) about the enabling legislation for our County residents. If there is a County bill, I can ask College Park City Council to send a letter supporting of the bill.

College Park’s Senior Program

College Park’s Senior program provides many good services to the senior residents in the city. Here you can learn more about the program in details.

SENIORS PROGRAM: 4012 – Duties of the two seniors case program staff and the ½ admin assistant.
Social Activities
8 Day Trips a Year
A lot of excitement and conversation is generated in anticipation of the day trips. Staff planning, coordination and booking of transportation, lunch and venue per trip for 8 day excursions trips a year from April – November begins in January. Notification to seniors is made by the end of February when the responses to the offerings pour in. The responses are tracked and interest lists maintained for each of the the eight trips.

A few weeks before the trip, staff sends notification to 45 seniors of their eligibility for that trip, notifies other seniors when a vacancy exists, collects individual senior payments, confirms with bus company and venue, shops for trip snacks, serves as hostess for the trip, reconciles payments and submit bills and payments to Finance. 350 seniors attend and enjoy the trips each year.

3 – 4 Local Outings for Seniors with Mobility Issues
Three to four times a year, seniors with mobility issues participate in a day outing to a local venue. Once the date and location are determined, participants are notified and accompanied by staff to the local venues.

4-5 Senior Activity Team events
For each of the 4 – 5 activity team events, meet and plan local events with Senior Activity team members from the community, Attick Towers and Spellman House. Book the site, mail out notification, schedule transportation as needed, shop for food, prepare the venue, host each 3 – 4 hour event for 35 – 60 seniors.

Senior Social Center
Each Wednesday and Friday morning, prepare and host the gathering place for 10 – 20 seniors. Shop for snacks, prepare the venue, coordinate with weekly art teacher (Fridays) and exercise teacher (Wednesday), who can recommend the best male enhancement pills as testosterone boosters to assist in their workout routine.

Weekly Wednesday coffee
Each Wednesday morning, host coffee and snacks for Attick Towers seniors. Every other month host birthday party for those Attick Towers seniors celebrating a birthday during that period with homemade lunch.

Individual Walk-ins and Phone Calls
On an on-going basis individual seniors come in with issues requiring with emotional support and contact.

Transportation
Receive transportation requests in person or by phone to medical appointments and grocery store. Schedule the requests, notify senior of time and date, provide driver with daily schedule, troubleshoot when there is a problem with pick-up. In first three quarters of FY 17, there have been 1,867 trips transporting 2,607 seniors.

Our staff have long term relationships with a number of seniors, some of the relationships lasting over 10 years where assistance as increased as the individual ages and thus the issues shift in what is needed.

There are some seniors who experience confusion and anxiety and can require additional time in communication and assisting an individual in resolving their problem. Staff has an ongoing, supportive relationship with many seniors for years. For some, staff are seen as their family and the source of solace and connection.

Information and Referral
City seniors call the office for a myriad of issues information and referral about resources, transportation request, their spot on one of the eight trips and/or individualized assistance in dealing with their range of issues.

When a senior contacts the office in person or by phone describing an issue that needs further exploration and attention, an in-person appointment is scheduled with them at a time and place of their convenience.

Communication of Up-coming Events
Preparation of 4 – 5 flyers, envelopes and mailings a year to seniors on the Super Senior mailing list in addition to participating in the professional mail-outs to seniors City-wide that is led by the Communications Coordinator.

Case Management Services
52 seniors are currently receiving case management services, provided by 2 Seniors staff.

Of the 52 seniors enrolled in case management services, 41 live in Spellman House, 8 live in Attack Towers and 3 live in College Park homes. In March, staff actively connected with 30 case management seniors for a total of 77 contacts for the month, or an average of 2.6 contacts each. Each contact can range 30 – 90 minutes.

On-going new electronic documentation and assessments are done for each of the seniors receiving case management services.

Single-issue Advocacy Services
16 additional seniors are assisted for single issue advocacy services as needed.

The volume of work currently being performed and noted above is increasing each day as more seniors learn and are interested in the City’s services.

Such volume has over-extended the current 2 ½ staff members.

FY 18 Trip Coordinator: $3,000
The proposal in the FY 18 budget to contract an external trip coordinator to plan the 8 day trips a year and each month work the wait list and handle the payments has been identified as a self-contained project is an attempt to mitigate this issue. This will relieve staff of approximately 200 hours in the month of January and 25 hours a week a month during the 8 months there are trips.

CLINICAL PROGRAM – 4011
FY 18 Consulting: Increase $1,560
The Youth and Family Services counseling program assists many families and youth dealing with very difficult circumstances (138 youth in the first three quarters of FY17). These tough cases can include sexual abuse of victims as young as under five, autism, suicidal ideation, blended families, domestic violence.

A core component of the quality of counseling services provided by the City’s Youth and Family Services program, is the involvement of three external consultant mental health specialists. These specialists assist the staff in reviewing the dynamics of the most troublesome cases and providing implementation suggestions for the best integration of the successful agency models of child-centered play therapy, sand therapy and family therapy in our work with individual youth and families. Each of the three consultants have different specializations and each attend consultation once a month, thus providing external consultants three of the four weeks a month.

The participation of external experts in the field is a critical quality assurance component in our ability to provide quality services to youth and their families experiencing significant difficulties in their daily living.

About Case management services
52 seniors are currently receiving case management services, provided by 2 Seniors staff.

Of the 52 seniors enrolled in case management services, 41 live in Spellman House, 8 live in Attack Towers and 3 live in College Park homes. In March, staff actively connected with 30 case management seniors for a total of 77 contacts for the month, or an average of 2.6 contacts each. Each contact can range 30 – 90 minutes. Additionally there are 16 seniors who are not receiving case management services but are being assisted for single issue advocacy services as needed.

The new case management electronic system is set up and going well. Information for each of the 52 case management seniors has been entered into the system and ongoing case documentation was initiated in March. Staff are currently entering assessments and on-going contacts of the seniors receiving case management services in addition to fulfilling their other responsibilities.

City seniors call the office for a myriad of issues such as senior interest/registration for one of the many on-going social activities, transportation to medical appointments, the grocery store or the City’s senior social center, information and referral about resources, and/or individualized assistance in dealing with their range of issues.

When a senior contacts the office in person or by phone describing an issue that needs further exploration and attention, an in-person appointment is scheduled with them at a time and place of their convenience. Contact with the senior is maintained until the situation or circumstance is resolved and re-established at the seniors’ initiation. If there are on-going issues, an assessment is done and the senior is formally enrolled in case management services.

City’s Senior Program to Make a Presentation on Medicare

mediacare

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