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Minutes of Commission on Aging, 12/07/2016

AGENDA: Commission on Aging

RECEIVED 12/08/2016 6:00pm

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WEDNESDAY, December 7, 2016

Commission members present:
Beth Wagner – Chair, Karen de Friesse, Rosalind Kopfstein, Sam Crocker, Janet Metzger, Ingrid Heller, Hilda Rhodes, Jean Rexford.
Ruth Moran – Program Coordinator of Heritage Center
Angelica Fontenez – Director of Social Services

The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m.

I.  Approval of Minutes from November 2, 2016
Motion: Move that the minutes of the November meeting be accepted as corrected. Metzger, Kopfstein.  Unanimous.
Correction: Remove the duplication of Janet Metzger’s name in the attendance section.

II. Director of Social Services Monthly Report – Angelica Fontenez
Angelica Fontanez reported on various programs available for funding including the Salvation Army and the Brunissen Trust for Redding Senior Citizens, Inc.  The Salvation Army contribution to the town of Redding is $1,000.00 down from $2,000.00 in years past.  In addition to the direct contribution, Salvation Army will contribute 90% of the funds collected as part of Angelica’s fund raising for Salvation Army this holiday season.   Salvation Army does not limit how funds are distributed, including no age restrictions. The Brunissen Trust allows $1200.00 per household per year and its mission is to help residents maintain their homes and life styles in a suitable and safe manner.  Six candidates were presented and three are being considered for help.  Additional paperwork is needed for the other 3 candidates.  There was also a gift of $1000.00 from the Brunissen Trust for Caraluzzi’s gift cards; Rosalind Kopfstein suggested asking Caraluzzi’s for discount, Angelica to pursue.  Rosalind also suggested “Redding Shares the Warmth”, a program started by Rosalind and former First Selectman, Natalie Ketcham, expand their purpose and definition of “warm and comfortable throughout the year”.  There was a donation of $500.00 to Redding Shares the Warmth this past month.   Angelica Fontanez started by announcing the SNAP representative from Danbury, Sara Arroyo, has been coming directly to town to help with the SNAP applications and intake, allowing Angelica to focus on other situations. Energy assistance applications are increasing and wait time for approval can be as long as 30 days.   Angelica is able to tap into Redding Shares the Warmth for emergency situations when the approvals haven’t been received.  There was one Husky application, three food stamps intake, eleven food pantry users and eight requests for oil assistance. There were forty Thanksgiving Baskets handed out by Angelica; made by the elementary school and PTA.  There was a discussion about putting together a short hand-out detailing services provided by Social Services or publishing in Pilot and on town web site.

III. Senior Center Program Report – Ruth Moran
Activities at the Heritage Center included “Open Mike for Memoir Writers” that had a large showing, 39 attendees.  This started a conversation as to which room, small lounge or large community room, should be used for well-attended topics.  Ruth Moran preferred the intimacy of the small lounge but was open to using the bigger room if necessary.  The “Opera Talks” still continue to bring in a good crowd.  A Holiday lunch is being held on December 8th with forty people coming.   Ruth Moran talked about starting new computer classes now that the new computers have been installed.  Possibly asking Susan Winters, Henry Polio or Bob Moran to hold classes on graphic design and other computer programs.  Ruth brought up the subject of getting new tables for the Heritage Center.  Jean Rexford reiterated the need to remind people to bring in food for the pantry as payment for her class, “Yoga for the Rest of Us”.

IV.  Other Business:
Beth Wagner handed out the final 2017 meeting schedule that was approved last month and submitted to the Town Clerk.

There was no additional business presented before the Commission; the meeting was adjourned at 9:50 am.

The next COA meeting is scheduled for January 4, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. in the Heritage Center.

Minutes prepared by Karen de Friesse