East Point NORC Program
Atlanta, Georgia

The setting

Just beyond the boundaries of Atlanta, the town of East Point has many of the amenities and challenges of an urban area, yet the charm of its Main Street still lends it the air of a small town. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport lies partly within the jurisdiction, and many renowned R&B and hip-hop musicians have called East Point home.

Also living in this community of 40,000 are some 3,000 adults over the age of 65. The senior population is about 55 percent Caucasian and 43 percent African-American, and most people (78 percent) own their homes in generally stable neighborhoods. With 42 percent of older residents having lived in the same place for more than three decades, local ties are strong, and there is a tradition of community involvement.

But there is also a high concentration of poverty here (about 14 percent among those over 65), and the homes are aging, along with their owners. The vast majority lives in single-family residences that are at least 35 years old.

The partners

In July 2003, three partners came together to create a NORC program in East Point:

Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta: Part of a national network that works with social and humanitarian agencies, the Federation was awarded a Congressional earmark to create NORC programs in 2003.
The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC): ARC, which has broad planning responsibilities for a ten-county region, serves as an Area Agency on Aging. ARC also directs Aging Atlanta, part of a ten-site national Community Partnerships for Older Adults program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to improve services for older adults.

Fulton County Office on Aging: This office manages a countywide aging services network that includes 16 senior centers, four multipurpose centers with a core of educational and recreational services, adult day care, daily home meals to 3,000 people, transportation services for 10,000 annually, and more. Its state-of-the-art Bowden Senior Multipurpose Facility houses the East Point NORC Program.

All three partners contributed funding and resources to launch the East Point NORC Program and continue to meet monthly to share their ideas for strengthening it. Currently, the East Point budget of $120,000 comes primarily from public sources at the federal and local levels, with additional funds from fundraising for specific service initiatives.

Paid staffing at the East Point NORC Program consists of four staff members—a program coordinator, an outreach worker, and two senior residents, who receive stipends for their contributions to community-building. Continued...

 

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