By SDCN Staff
Chula Vista, CA–Community Congregational Development Corporation has reached a $6 million grant milestone in pursuit of its mission to serve and support the physical, social, psychological, and spiritual health and well-being of older adults.
Community Congregational Development Corporation, which has primarily carried out its charitable endeavors across the South Bay and especially Chula Vista, is one of just nine foundations across the nation that focuses on senior causes, emphasizing a need that is broadly overlooked yet increasingly critical within the community.
In fact, in a report on charitable giving and COVID-19 by Candid and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, the organizations found that only 2% of funding during the first year of the pandemic went toward the older adult population, a testament to the corporation’s significance to the local community.
The $6 million donation was reached when the corporation presented a $160,000 check to Legal Aid for Justice for South Bay Seniors, which facilitates access and maintains supports and services that impact social determinants of health (e.g., housing, food, public benefits, and debt). With support from the corporation, the Justice Project has hired two case managers to specifically target older adults in the South Bay in a culturally and linguistically competent manner. The grant will serve approximately 800 seniors through the two case managers.
“It has been our honor to serve the Chula Vista and South Bay senior community with opportunities for access to technology, affordable housing, and transportation, among other meaningful services, all of which combat potential isolation,” said Laurie Orange, CCDC director, corporate secretary, and board member. “We are hopeful and optimistic other charitable organizations will join us to meet the rising demand for support amongst the aging population in this region.”
The corporation’s focus on Chula Vista and the South Bay region has prioritized several critical community needs for both emergency and long-term impact.
Tech for Seniors, an innovative program fully funded by the corporation, is designed to reduce social isolation and loneliness among lower-income older adults through age-friendly technology training, technical assistance, and intergenerational engagement. Those who completed the training are gifted a free iPad, enabling them to stay connected with family and friends and attend virtual classes.
Grants from the corporation also have supported affordable senior housing, including providing emergency rental assistance to reduce housing instability and homelessness. They recently granted $350,000 to Serving Seniors to fund one of the first private shallow subsidy rental funds in the South Bay. This will provide up to $300 per month in rental assistance for an average of 30 seniors each month. Subsidies will be paired with intensive case management services. Each client will receive tailored services designed to assist seniors in improving their housing stability and quality of life.
More than $2 million has been committed to enhancing mobility options and providing “last mile” connections to public transit so that older adults who no longer drive can conveniently access grocery stores, medical and personal appointments, and social activities. This total includes a $1 million grant to the City of Chula Vista to fund the Chula Vista Community Shuttle.
During the height of the pandemic, the corporation made emergency donations to a dozen organizations to stave off isolation, supply equipment, and provide food and transportation assistance. This included a donation of over $650,000 to help keep one of Chula Vista’s few food banks, Community Through Hope in service.
“Providing nutrition for the South Bay’s elderly population has been at the forefront of our mission since day one,” said CTH President and CEO Rosy Vasquez. “Without the emergency funding provided by CCDC, our organization would not have been able to offer the programs and services that best met our senior client’s needs during the brunt of the pandemic.”
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