Whistlestop, the non-profit organization that provides vital services to Marin County’s older adults and individuals with disabilities, was showcased in the California Commission on Aging (CCOA) publication Innovation, Resourcefulness and Persistence.
The CCOA has partnered with SCAN Health Plan in an effort to identify and recognize senior and community centers that are doing innovative work through Innovation, Resourcefulness and Persistence. This publication chronicles the innovations, creativity, passion and commitment of those who staff and govern California’s senior centers. It also creates a snapshot of centers around the state in order to answer the question “How are centers using innovation, resourcefulness and persistence to stay relevant and to move forward in uncertain times?”
Whistlestop was recognized for its collaborative approach to partner with Homeward Bound of Marin, an organization that advocates for the homeless and helps reintroduce them to the labor market, to operate the Jackson Café. The café offers fresh affordable and delicious meals in a friendly environment to the general public while offering reduced cost meals to older adults. The collaboration also provides those transitioning out of homelessness with paid jobs and experience working in a commercial kitchen.
“This collaboration with Homeward Bound has been a win-win since its inception a year ago. Working with other organizations to maximize our effectiveness and reach into the community,” said Joe O’Hehir, Whistlestop’s CEO.
Innovation, Resourcefulness and Persistence is available to view in PDF form on Whistlestop’s website at http://www.whistlestop.org/press/innovation-●-resourcefulness-●-persistence/.
Since 1954 Whistlestop has been helping the Marin County’s older adults stay happy and active by avoiding social isolation. Whistlestop is best known for providing rides for people with disabilities. Their fleet of over 50 specialized buses run seven days a week from early morning to late night, offering over 150,000 rides yearly throughout Marin and surrounding counties.
In addition, Whistlestop’s Active Aging Center, located in downtown San Rafael, provides socialization for older adults through client-centered services and activities. These include computer and education classes, exercise classes, and many special programs for Spanish, Vietnamese, German, and Farsi-speaking older adults. Invaluable services like citizenship assistance and ESL classes are offered as part of Whistlestop’s ongoing mission.
Whistlestop’s Jackson Café, located at the Active Aging Center, serves delicious and affordable lunchtime meals, Monday through Friday to diners of all ages. The Café features daily specials, deli sandwiches, soups, desserts, and fresh salads. The Jackson Café offers a comfortable setting where older adults and their family and friends can eat well and stay socially active.