Reflecting & Rejoicing Celebrating 60 Years of Impact »

Providing social services for low-income seniors is a priority of The Unity Council, as an organization, we are committed to making sure our seniors are connected, engaged, and supported.

Every year, for the past 39 years, the senior services staff at The Unity Council has hosted a Thanksgiving Luncheon for low-income seniors. The luncheon is the senior center’s largest annual event; it provides a traditional Thanksgiving meal to over 100 seniors and an excuse for the seniors to dance and interact with each other.

“It is important that we provide engaging activities for our seniors,” said Nalleli Albarran, Program Manager at the Senior Center, “Our seniors look forward to the celebration; the celebration allows them to feel part of the community.”

Before the Fruitvale Village was constructed, the luncheon was celebrated at Posada de Colores, the second largest senior affordable- housing building managed by the organization. The luncheon started as an effort to create community among the residents of the senior property as well as to invite other seniors in the area to stay engaged and avoid feeling isolated.

Approximately, 38% of seniors in Alameda County speak a language other than English, and about one-quarter speak English less than well, and 44% of older adults live alone compared to 27% of the overall population. Isolation is a leading cause of depression among older adults. Older adults in areas like the Fruitvale neighborhood in Oakland are at greater risk of feeling isolated and depressed because of the high concentration of monolingual older adults and the lack of senior facilities that can properly serve their specific needs. Out of the 95,483 older adults living in Oakland, 49% of them are foreign-born. Programs like the Senior Center, which provides physical recreation activities as well as engaging learning opportunities and social networking, are critical to protecting this population in Oakland.

Learn more about the Fruitvale-San Antonio Senior Center.