Center in the Park (CIP) is a non-profit community center located in the heart of Germantown Avenue in NW Philadelphia. CIP is located in a former Carnegie library and provides programs and services to foster positive aging for older adults in the local community. The organization is recognized for programs that address the intersections of age, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, disability, and socioeconomic status.
The Need: To develop a well-designed and welcoming space for senior adults to relax and socialize outside scheduled program activities.
The Opportunity: The introduction of Self Directed Volunteer Teams as a means of engaging volunteers to address important issues at CIP coincided with an AARP grant to facilitate community connections at the facility.
Prompted by an AARP Challenge grant and guided by SDV Network coaches, a team of six volunteers formed an SDV Team and formulated their plan for how best to help CIP address their need by re-purposing 600sq ft of unused space into a “Golden Age Café”. The café/lounge was to be ready in sixty days and available to CIP members, their guests and the public. The team goals were to:
- Provide a comfortable space intentionally designed to promote socialization.
- Establish community connections with local restaurants/businesses.
- Create an independent source of income to support CIP.
- Pilot appropriate staffing and hours in the café and identify next-steps for a follow up SDV Team project.