Oakley Senior Center

Photo by Tony Kukulich

Oakley’s Senior Center is preparing to open its doors on June 21 with a public celebration. The center is located at 215 Second St.

The Oakley Senior Citizens (OSC), in conjunction with Contra Costa County, are gearing up to open Oakley’s new senior citizen center on June 21.

Purchased by the city in 2013, the building was not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and so OSC could not open it for public use. Tim Lear, OSC president, said all ADA requirements have now been met, and new floors and paint have given the structure a fresh look.

“Now we can get it opened,” Lear said. “We will offer services and programs that promote the well-being, and support the independence of seniors in Oakley, encouraging their involvement in activities, healthy aging and lifelong service to community.”

Lear detailed a full schedule for the center, including sending out 140 Meals on Wheels each day, a Coco Café open five days a week and a food bank open on Fridays. There will be classes on scam prevention, Android and Apple device use, and a California Highway Patrol drive program. His hope is that the senior center will become a hub of services and programs enriching the lives of area seniors.

Though its opening has been coordinated by OSC and the county, Oakley City Manager Bryan Montgomery is happy to see the center added to the list of services offered in his town. He said that while it is independent from city operations, some facility-improvement funds did come from the city of Oakley.

“We are pleased that the Oakley seniors group will be able to better utilize the facility and expand its programs,” Montgomery said.

Margueriette Walker, aging and adult senior staff assistant for the county’s adult protective services department, has been working hard to help OSC get connected with services and prepare for the center’s opening.

“I have been coordinating with the Oakley senior center team and helping them to establish a community with seniors,” Walker explained. “A place where they can feel safe and connected with resources that are out there, and a place they can be protected from elder abuse.”

Walker and Lear are bringing together a slew of organizations for the senior center’s opening day resource fair, from educational and legal services, to outreach programs that can help seniors of all income levels live healthy and independent lives. County Supervisor Diane Burgis will be speaking, and 5,000 purple flags will be placed in the ground to represent the number of reported elder abuse cases each year in Contra Costa County.

“We will have free food from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from the food bank, so people can come, fill their bags and it’s open to everyone in the county,” Lear said. “We want to heighten senior-abuse awareness and connect seniors to resources. I work with all the senior centers in the area; we do a lot of different stuff with the county and this is going to be a great event.”

The Oakley Senior Center is located at 215 Second St. in Oakley. Opening day is June 21, and festivities will last from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information on the new center or OSC, call 925-626-7223.

To report elder abuse, please call the county’s adult protective services department at 877-839-4347.