Onondaga County awards funds to PEACE, Inc. so that Seniors who have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic can Age-in-Place.
Syracuse, New York – PEACE, Inc. and its Department of Energy and Housing Services (DEHS) recently received a $100,000 grant to run an Aging-in-Place, Senior Home Modification Program. The grant is one of 10 awarded by Onondaga County to provide American Rescue Plan COVID-19 Response Services for the Onondaga County Department of Child and Family Services. The funds are to “address the human services needs and improved quality of life for the populations in Onondaga County disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Housed within the agency’s DEHS, the program provides a minimum of 25 HEAP-eligible Senior and Disabled Senior Households with home modifications that will improve mobility and safety, reduce anxiety, and allow Seniors to age-in-place safely and with dignity. Repairs can range from ramp installation and doorway widening to handlebar and lightbulb fittings. On average, roughly $3600 will be allocated per project. The Program will “focus on geographies with more than 20% of the population living in poverty.”
With 76% of surveyed Americans -Age 50 and Above- preferring to remain in their current residents (AARP, 2018), proper modifications are necessary to ensure that homes are conducive for Aging-in-Place. Additionally, research shows correlations between home modifications and reductions in likelihood of fall/injury, increased physical function and personal independence, and improved mental health and confidence among seniors. Successful modifications can also yield potential cost savings for Seniors, families, and health systems such as Medicaid.
According to Carolyn D. Brown, Executive Director of PEACE, Inc., “Seniors have suffered tremendously during COVID, particularly as a result of the isolation. This funding will allow PEACE, Inc. to make repairs and improve the safety of residences so seniors can age in the homes they love and in the neighborhoods they cherish. We want to help keep seniors well in our communities so they can return to their churches, temples, mosques, volunteer roles, community centers, and the other places that support their quality of life.”
For more about PEACE, Inc.’s DEHS department, visit https://www.peace-caa.org/programs/energyhousing/.
About PEACE, Inc., PEACE, Inc.’s Department of Energy and Housing Services (DEHS)
Incorporated in 1968, PEACE, Inc. is a federal designated Community Action Agency (CAA) that serves nearly 12,000 clients in Syracuse, Onondaga County, and portions of Oswego County. Through its New York State Weatherization Assistance and Energy Smart Programs, PEACE, Inc.’s DEHS provides energy conservation measures for income-eligible homeowners and renters in Onondaga and Oswego Counties. DEHS is one of 9 antipoverty programs offered by the agency, including Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS), Family Services (FRCs) Head Start and Early Head Start (HS, EHS), Foster Grandparents, Free Tax Preparation (EITC), Eastwood Community Center, Senior Nutrition, and Senior Support Services. For more information, visit www.peace-caa.org.
Sally Ward, Director
PEACE, Inc.’s Department of Energy and Housing Services
Phone: (315) 470-3315