[Marin County] Supporting basic services can help avoid a crisis

The Marin County Civil Grand Jury report on the front page of the May 1 edition indicates that there should be a crisis hub for elders. I would suggest that we think and plan more intelligently and provide basic day-to-day services first; then we may not need crisis shelters.

A good example is the crisis brought on by the lack of funding for many of our nonprofits that serve seniors. Our community funders, cities, and county government have lost sight of what is important to seniors and their caregivers in Marin.

As a board member of Senior Access, a day program for people with memory loss, I am dumbfounded by the lack of community support for this efficiently and skillfully run day program. We beat the bushes for money to keep the doors open while the county buys golf courses, cities replace concrete benches that are perfectly good, and our civil grand jury calls for crisis shelters, when what we need is support for existing programs.

How do we get money for these existing programs? Heck if I know. We’ve been asking everyone from our hospitals, to the community foundation, to philanthropic organizations, to the county and to local businesses, and we cannot seem to get a steady, reliable stream of funding, and it isn’t for lack of trying.

So, go ahead and open that crisis shelter, but whoever is tasked with operating it better be ready, on any given day, to have the funding disappear.

May 8, 2018

Marin Independent Journal

Letter-to-the-editor from Polly Elkin, San Rafael, board member, Senior Access