Kelowna, BC – Those wanting to support community programs for isolated, vulnerable seniors can participate in the Holiday Wishes 50/50 Raffle organized by Seniors Outreach & Resource Centre.
The centre’s executive director, Ian Gerbrandt, says calls from seniors who can’t afford to pay rent, food and medications has increased this year. “On the heels of a pandemic that disproportionally affected the wellbeing of older adults, came a sharp rise in inflation and higher costs for goods, services, and housing. These changes were especially hard on seniors living on a limited, fixed income.” says Gerbrandt.
This year, the organization’s staff and volunteers supported close to 2,000 seniors in the Central Okanagan through a variety of social services and outreach efforts. Over 80 volunteers helped with wellness calls, social visits, free tax returns and delivering food hampers for vulnerable seniors.
Every senior who turns to the centre for help has a unique story. “We met one elderly woman who was living in her car, after she was evicted from her rental suite when the owner sold the property.” shares Gerbrandt. “She spent a career helping others as care aide, but the wages from her work in the caring economy were modest. She was struggling to access social housing due to waitlists and private market rentals due to costs. Our team helped her find a way forward, by navigating short-term shelters, medical services, nutritional supports, social services and eventually a permanent rental home. For someone who spent a lifetime caring for others, she deserved a system of social care to help her when needed.”
Seniors Outreach is trying to meet the needs of all the seniors asking for help and anticipates a growth in demand over the winter months. They are ramping up their services going into the holiday season and you can help their efforts by purchasing a Holiday Wishes 50/50 raffle ticket. Tickets are available until December 17th at https://seniorsoutreach.rafflenexus.com or visit 115-2065 Benvoulin Court 9am-4pm.
About Seniors Outreach
Seniors Outreach is a non-profit society working to enhance the lives of seniors in Kelowna and region. By providing social supports and linking them to other needed services, we help vulnerable older adults to maintain their dignity and independence, and to stay connected to their community and each other.
For more information:
Ian Gerbrandt, Executive Director
Seniors Outreach and Services Society
C: 250-861-6180 Ext. 1