HHS Blogs

DSAS’ Community Social Services Program “Feels Like Family”

Fatima Family Center Client Donald BurtsSocial isolation – also known as loneliness -- is a big contributor to declining health in older adults. Did you know that social isolation is as detrimental to one’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day?  Lack of meaningful social interaction among older adults can lead to obesity, depression, sleeplessness and a downward spiral of issues.

DSAS helps seniors get social. Our Community Social Services Program (CSSP) works with 36 community partners across the County to ensure adults age 60 and over have opportunities to engage with one another.  Over 150,000 hours of in-person and virtual activities, trips, classes and more were provided for our older friends and neighbors in 2021 through our partnerships. 

Client Donald Burts loves spending time at his local hangout – the Fatima Family Center.  “It’s family -- and it will always feel like family. No one is expecting anything from you.  You show up – you get welcomed here.  People try to make you feel at home here.  And they actually miss you when they don’t see you – they call to check up on you,” he says.

Donald enjoys the parties and programs, especially the trips his center provides.  This past year, he’s had an opportunity to visit the art museum, a casino and an African-American exhibition that was a highlight for him.  

Donald is thankful for the extra help from his center during the pandemic.  “I lost my job – like a lot of people did – during COVID,” Donald explained.  “Fatima provided us with gift cards and food boxes -- a lot of things that took the stress out of wondering, ‘How am I going to feed my family and be able to do the things that I need to do?’  It was a true blessing.”

To learn more about our Community Social Services Program and the many partners and programs we support, visit our CSSP page.