Where we are and how we got here...

 1614 SE Stephens Street, Roseburg                                                                                                                                                       (photo by Mark Savage)

1614 SE Stephens Street, Roseburg                                                                                                                                                       (photo by Mark Savage)

A bit of history...

The Roseburg Senior Center was established in 1965 and occupied several small locations until 1979 when it moved into a 3,500 square foot space provided at no cost by Douglas County at the old Mercy/Health Department Building on Madrone Street.

In 2014 the County notified the Senior Center that it needed to vacate the space as the building was to be sold.

The Roseburg Senior Center found an ideal new location with over 22,000 square feet of space at 1614 SE Stephens (the former Chin's Restaurant). A two-year lease agreement was consummated in September 2014, the organization moved and the clock began ticking.

Next step was to buy the building.

We had a time-sensitive option to buy at a below-market price. We needed to secure funding via grants, loans and contributions by the end of December 2016.

The seniors have, over the years, saved just over $100,000 in a building fund, looking for the day when the dream of owning their own space would become a reality. Those donated dollars--that local commitment--became a crucial part of our success in receiving a 2:1 challenge grant of $200,000 from The Ford Family Foundation. Generous donors in and around Roseburg have also contributed over $15,000 since July in the "Save the Roseburg Senior Center" campaign. Once people learned about the need, they were inspired to help. In addition, a loan was secured from the Rural LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) to help fund the balance of the purchase price.

What now?

Purchasing this building will allow the Senior Center to own its own property for the first time in 51 years. This would make the Roseburg Senior Center one of only a handful of Senior Centers in Oregon to be totally owned and operated by its members and not subsidized by the city, county or state. Makes you proud of our community, doesn't it?

Talk about inspiration! Since our move in December 2014, we have grown our membership from 350 to over 800. There is energy and excitement for our future! Seniors appreciate the new, larger building and plans for expanded services.

We are now creating a strategic plan for long-term financial sustainability that involves not just buying the building, but renovations that will make it fully functional, fully utilized, providing more space for increased activities and services for seniors along with other diverse uses such as office space or event rentals for all segments of our community. So, it's not just about our older citizens; it's about all of us.

The needs are ongoing.

As the property purchase is finalized, the urgency is not as great as that year-end deadline, but we still need help for renovations and ongoing operations to serve our area's growing senior population. We continue to write grants and solicit donations--large and small--from organizations and individuals throughout our region. We are reaching out to those in our community who appreciate the value of the Roseburg Senior Center, catch the vision, and have the means to help. Can you join us?

Getting involved is the right thing to do...

The Roseburg Senior Center is a positive thing in a world that can look pretty negative sometimes. The National Council on Aging reports that senior center participants have higher levels of health, social interaction, and life satisfaction. We all hope for that, don't we? Good health, friends and a sense of happiness. For ourselves now and, of course, as we grow older. Shouldn't we want that, too, for our seniors who have invested their lives in this community, and in us?

There are many ways you can help ensure a bright future for the Roseburg Senior Center. We need funds and we need friends to spread the word. Click below to learn more: