February 2021 FESH Letter

Letter from the FESH

Hello. It has been one year since I have been in my current role as the Far East Senior Hub Program
Coordinator for Snoqualmie Valley, Mt. Si and Issaquah Senior Centers. Funded by the Veterans, Seniors & Human Services Levy I am happy to share with you some of our successes and a few of our challenges found within our first year working as a HUB.

Initially, the HUB was formed between the centers because we all share a common thread — we are geographically located in the Far East King County. Within this area we face challenges of being further away from the center of King County, therefore lacking the equal opportunity of services provided to other Seattle or Eastside Senior Centers. As a HUB, we share excitement to work together to provide services to YOU, our FESH senior population.

Part of my job is to partner with other VSHSL funded organizations to bring services to new underserved senior
populations like the Hispanic Speaking, LGBTQ+, East Indian, and Isolated Seniors, as well as Grandparents Raising Grandkids. This new programing scheduled to launch in 2020 was to bring in a variety of programming for a more diverse populace. Sounds fun doesn’t it? Well, then COVID hit!

Everyone, including our partner organizations, were affected: SeaMar was going to provide translation for our
Hispanic/Latino community, GenPride was going to bring in inclusive programming to our centers and IAWW was going to provide culturally diverse programming for our East Asian friends. Because these organizations had to deal with their own challenges, we had to change direction and get creative with an online program plan offering these fun activities!

Make New Friends Across the Miles is a fun partnership with YMCA of Greater Houston that meets monthly to share stories, sing songs, tell jokes, and just take some time to connect and laugh a little. We meet the third Wednesday of EVERY month. Please join us!

Let’s Grow Together was a joint effort to work with our partner organizations to share online program offerings. Zoom presentations were held biweekly from Encompass, GenPride and IAWW as well as a very important Racial Equity Conversation. Look forward to continuing this programming in 2021.

WATAP offered three different webinars with information on Medication Management, Adaptive Gardening and Low-Tech Solutions to help with mobility challenges. They were all well attended. They will be doing more with us this year.

Music Across the Miles is a non-profit located in Nashville. We partnered for some sing-a-longs. It was great to
connect with Seniors from all over the nation in a musically uplifting experience.

In 2021 we are looking forward to resuming our plans to continue to work and grow with our partners. We will be conducing Focus Groups to improve programming at the centers so you get what you need from us. We have a
training coming up with Gen Pride to plan and begin programming for our LGBTQ+ Seniors. We have an Equity and Inclusion training for Staff, Board and Volunteers with Be Culture, and continued Kinship Support with Encompass. We are also in talks with Mobile Senior Health to get more healthcare services in our Senior Centers.

I look forward to seeing you in person in 2021 and really making Sno-Valley, Mt Si and Issaquah Senior Centers
everything they can be for YOU!

Thank you.

Valerie Stewart