ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — New York State Sen. Jeremy Cooney announced that $50,000 worth of state funds will be headed to the Ibero-American Action League’s Centro de Oro.
The center is focused on helping Latin-American seniors over the age of 60 that are facing challenges like isolation. The center’s attendees more than doubled after Hurricane Maria.
Senator Cooney says the funding will “play a critical role in Ibero’s outreach into underserved communities.”
The new center will allow seniors to meet throughout the week for meals, games and socialization. The space also helps older adults who have anxiety and depression, as it gives them a home away from home.
“Here in the United States I feel like a lot of our older generation feel like they are lost and disconnected and this is a place where they can just come in together to socialize and get back to some of the roots that keep them alive,” said Raquel Serrano, the Director of Elder Services for Ibero.
Serrano also said it’s important the center supports the community’s Latinx population.
“A lot of the Latino individuals, especially our elders, are so underserved in the county, in the nation, and they want to have a place they can call another home,” she said.
Sonia Burgos, a volunteer at the center, was at Friday’s celebration with her mom. She said it was great to see the new location.
“When I walked in the door, I got so emotional, I started crying,” Burgos said. “Us hispanics are like a big family and the seniors, they love coming here, they love participating, they love being with one another, they’re like brothers and sisters and they are so happy.”
Once the center is officially open, it will be avaliable to seniors Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 1:30 p.m.