Travel, Leisure & Fun for South Valley Adults

Porterville Seniors Receive New Center

Some say it has been a longtime coming, but Porterville seniors finally have a place to truly call their own.

Through an agreement between the City of Porterville, and Community Services and Employment Training (CSET), the new location at will be for senior use only for a longtime to come, according to Albert Cendejas, CSET assistant director for community initiatives.

“It is my understanding that this has been in the works for years,” Cendejas said. “The old location is a multipurpose building and used for many events. This new facility is a prime location, next to a senior-living apartments.”

The new location at the corner of 4th Street and Cleveland Avenue, adjacent to the Playa de Santa Fe Apartments , is equipped with a multipurpose room that serves as a gathering room for lunch, an exercise room, a library/television room, and a computer room. The location makes it convenient for many local seniors to attend, being next door to the senior-living apartment complex and closer to downtown. In its first week of operation in late March, the center had 17 new seniors join and sign up for mid-day meals.

“The old one was OK, but this one is so nice with more restrooms and the exercise room, and it's close to us,” said Eva Martinez, who volunteers for lunch service and lives next door.

Her friend, Francis Nava, agrees.

“I love it here,” Nava said. “Everything is so nice and clean.”

CSET manages seven centers throughout the county, each employing a manager and in some cases an assistant manager, and with the assistance of several volunteers like Nava and Martinez help to keep the senior centers and lunch programs running.

In Porterville, the center's average attendance is 50 to 55 for lunch, five days a week. Participants 60 and over are asked to pay $2.50 per lunch, while friends and family who are younger, but always welcome to attend, are asked to pay $4. Reservations should be made at least 24 hours in advance.

The Porterville Senior Center's current hours are 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. “But in the near future, we hope to lengthen them,” Cendejas said.

There is an exercise class Monday through Thursday from 11-11:45 a.m., and the computer room is open for members to use any time during regular hours. More classes and other programs are also being planned, according to Cendejas.


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