Episcopal Retirement Services’ Great Gatsby Gala on Sept. 20 was, to borrow a popular 1920s phrase, the berries!
More than 300 guests, many decked out in 1920s attire, were treated to an evening filled with live music, delicious food, silent auction, and dance performances, all emceed by WLWT-TV News Anchor Courtis Fuller.
But the gala was much more than a glamorous night out. It raised more than $250,000 for the ERS Good Samaritan Mission Fund, which helps over 14,000 elders annually.
A Great Need for Senior Programs & Services
The Good Samaritan Mission Fund supports a variety of ERS ministry programs and services for older adults. Those include Deupree Meals On Wheels, Parish Health Ministry, resident aid for our Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) and activities and services for residents of our Affordable Living by ERS communities.
And the need for such senior programs and services is great:
By 2030, there are expected to be 72.1 million elders, nearly double from the current 39.6 million.
In 15 years, one in every five Americans, and 19 percent of Hamilton County residents will be over the age of 65 (U.S. Census, 2015).
The population of low-income elders is set to experience the fastest rate of growth, placing further strain on an already exhausted inventory of housing.
According to the AARP, one in four Ohio elders currently lives in substandard housing.
For every one subsidized apartment, there are currently nine low-income elders in waiting (AARP, 2014).
In Cincinnati, 15.1 percent of elders currently live below the poverty line, which is higher than the national elderly poverty rate of 9.4 percent and anticipated to accelerate in coming years (American Community Survey, 2013).
The ERS Response
ERS is taking a number of steps to meet the needs of local seniors.
First, we are aggressively expanding the reach of Affordable Living for low-income seniors. By 2020, we plan to own/manage 30 Affordable Living communities and serve 1,800 low-income elders mostly in Ohio, but also in Indiana and Kentucky. And we have vowed not to compromise quality in the name of volume.
We will also offer the following support and amenities to those Affordable Living communities:
Healthcare and wellbeing programs including on-site social workers, free wellness nurse visits, exercise centers with senior-friendly equipment, wellness education and care transition services.
Activities and volunteer coordination that hosts a wide variety of stimulating opportunities for fun and purpose.
Transportation to shopping, entertainment, and dining to keep our seniors connected to the broader community.
Chaplaincy supporting the spiritual needs of our residents through services, Bible studies, socialization, and group activities.
Fundraising is a crucial component of serving our residents. Resident rents do not pay for any part of these life-enriching services in most of our communities, but gifts from individuals, businesses, the faith community, and foundation grants do.
Crucial partnerships in our efforts to serve our residents include local churches, The Model Group, the Freestore Foodbank, the School for Creative and Performing Arts, the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, the City of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority.
Save the Date for Next Year’s Gala!
We’re already planning for next year’s gala! Our Mad Hatter Ball will take place on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, at Hilton Netherlands’ Hall of Mirrors. The Model Group is once again our title sponsor. Interested in becoming a sponsor? Contact Kim Harrison at 513-979-2306 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you’d like to make a donation to the Good Samaritan Mission Fund, you can do so anytime here. When it comes to supporting local seniors, every dollar counts.