Westbeth Older Adult Center opening ceremony

 

Greenwich House officially commemorated the opening of our older adult center at Westbeth Artists Housing with a ceremony yesterday, June 28. The new older adult center, at 155 Bank Street in the West Village, links Greenwich House programming with one of the most unique artist residency sites in the country. The Westbeth site will provide meals and social programming, and will focus on social services, including much-sought-after assistance with benefits, entitlements, healthcare, nursing and much more. It will be open Tuesday through Saturday, and will be one of the few older adult sites in the City offering meals and services on Saturdays.

“It was a thrill to see this idea become a reality,” said Darren Bloch, our CEO “Our older adult leadership and our partners at Westbeth have worked tirelessly to get our new site up and running. But this site is also only one critical piece of our overall approach to continuing to find ways to serve the growing community of older adults in the West Village and beyond. As the needs of our older adults continue to evolve, so too will the programs and services we offer at all our sites. This important step is one of many into our collective future at a time when the older adult community continues to grow at an exponential rate.”

The Westbeth site marks the first new older adult center in the Village roughly 20 years, marking another evolution in Greenwich House’s long history of being on the forefront of addressing the needs of aging communities. In 1955, Greenwich House started the “Over 65 Club”, providing services a full decade before the federal government passed the 1965 Older Americans Act. In 1966, Greenwich House then opened its first “Senior Center” as they were called at the time. By 1974, Greenwich House had also opened the “Senior Health and Consultation Center” to address the distinct mental and physical health needs of older adults, a legacy of service that continues to this day. Greenwich House adjusted during the pandemic to provide older adults with grab-and go-meals, and in 2020 established Zoom classes and activities and remote mental health resources. This spring, Greenwich House advocated for significant additional funding for older adult mental health services, which was included in the city budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

“Opening day is a great moment, but also merely the beginning of our continuing process,” said Ruby Ng, Director of Westbeth Older Adult Center. “We are excited to provide additional services to our long-standing members and cannot wait to reach even more older adults and help them thrive with dignity, and celebrate their long, healthy futures. We are proud of this accomplishment, but even more eager to do the important work that is to come.”

Greenwich House staff were joined by Marlon Guerrero, Manhattan Older Adult Center Supervisor of the New York City Department for the Aging; New York City Council Member Erik Bottcher; New York City Council Member Christopher Marte; New York State Assembly Member Deborah Glick, New York State Senator Brad Hoylman; Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine; Manhattan Community Board 2 member Susanna Aaron; and community partners from Northwell Health, Lenox Hill, and Visiting Neighbors.