Senior Council Districts: Separation Update

Submitted by Senior Services Council of San Juan County.

At its April 21 meeting the Board of Directors of the Senior Services Council of San Juan County (SSCSJC) voted to transfer the operational functions of its three District Committees to three stand-alone nonprofit organizations. This change is designed to simplify and enhance operation of Senior Centers in all three geographic areas.

Since April, the Orcas, Lopez, and San Juan District Committees have worked to establish the infrastructure and instruments necessary for a seamless transition. Three nonprofit organizations have been identified to undertake the functions of the three senior centers. They are Friends of Orcas Senior Center, Lopez Island Senior Center, and Mullis Community Senior Center.

Current District Committees have begun work with partners to transfer business agreements to the three separate nonprofits. Directors of the SSCSJC corporation have met with San Juan County and Whatcom Council on Aging staff to revise agreements for providing nutrition and transportation services to ensure seamless transition.

With separate nonprofits, patrons of Senior Centers should notice little if any changes other than improved services. The goal is to transition functions from one overarching nonprofit to three separate nonprofits with minimum disruption to client services and business partners so that services are enhanced for seniors and adults with disabilities in San Juan County. The three organizations can still collaborate on selected projects and grants as desired.

The transition is expected to be completed over the next several months. District Committees will continue to operate their senior centers just as they do now until the new nonprofit organizations are ready to assume their new roles. Donations earmarked for a specific senior center will continue to go to that senior center. Centers do not anticipate any decrease in services, classes, activities, or offerings. Instead, this transition period is an opportunity for planning great improvement, responsiveness, and engagement as each location prepares to move forward independently.

Additional information about the transition is posted on the websites of your senior center on Lopez, Orcas and San Juan Islands:



San Juan: