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James is a new client that came to us just after Christmas in January of 2023. He was referred to our program from one of our collaborative community partners for the initial need of access to a nutritional breakfast and lunch offered 5 days weekly by another partner, Mid-FL Community Services, through the Fellowship Dining program. James is currently homeless and a veteran with some medical issues. He is diabetic and uses a cane for balance. What is most admirable about him is his cheery disposition and determination to better his situation in face of being homeless as an older adult and the other challenges he faces.

James is being helped by several of our other community partners including Dedicated Senior Medical Center, a local senior healthcare center where he accesses his main health care; St. Vincent de Paul CARES, another Catholic based agency that is helping to resolve his living situation; the local veteran’s agency; Senior Connections Center, the local area on aging; and more. We are so happy that we can work together to make the referrals that will help James find and maintain a better, healthier, higher quality lifestyle and allow him his independence. He is a friendly guy that has made some friends here at our SWS center at St. Joe’s. The downtown central location allows him easy access from the nearby bus stop. He can also make use of our food pantry located here to help with nutritional needs. A lot has changed for him since his initial contact with our programs through the efforts of community agencies committed to our “collaboration without duplication” strategy.

James says, “I am very grateful to have found the center at St. Joe’s.

James represents another side of the diversity of our Senior Wellness Services programs that may need additional assistance beyond just finding a senior center that helps them avoid isolation and provides socialization, networking, exercise, education, and nutrition. While his situation may differ personally from many of our participants, he ‘fits’ and connects with other clients utilizing the same programs he attends.