Princeton Senior Resource Center - the go to place for seniors
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About PSRC

The Princeton Senior Resource Center is a private non-profit organization founded in 1974 to provide programs and services to promote healthy aging for Princeton area older adults (age 55+). PSRC was the first senior center in New Jersey to receive national accreditation in 1998. PSRC receives 22% of our support from individuals and events, 25% from foundations and corporate donations, 24% from the Princeton municipal government, 17% from program revenue and 12% from other sources. There is no paid membership required, and participation is open to all in the greater Princeton area.

Mission & Vision

The mission of PSRC is to empower older adults in the diverse Princeton community to make informed choices and live healthy lives. PSRC offers affordable services, programs and opportunities that support, educate and engage older individuals, their families and caregivers.

PSRC will be the primary resource for seniors in the wider Princeton community and their family caregivers. It will provide support and guidance to people aging in place and navigating life transitions.

PSRC will be a dynamic place where people gather and participate in activities that promote healthy aging toward physical, cognitive, social, emotional, spiritual and vocational wellbeing.

PSRC will collaborate with participants and other community organizations to address needs and current concerns of older adults and their families as well as to be responsive to emerging needs in this diverse community.

Programs and Services

Programs include social and recreational activities, health and fitness classes, educational and enrichment programs, retirement planning and re-employment programs, and volunteer activities. Support and guidance services include individual and family counseling and consultations, case management, assistance with transitions through life's changes, support and wellness groups, information and referral to community services, advocacy, assistance with benefit applications, and linkage to in-home support for older adults and caregivers. Currently about 1200 people attend classes and 125 receive assistance weekly. We also publish the Community Resource Guide for Princeton Area Older Adults and Caregivers, a monthly bulletin, Mature Princeton (print and online), and maintain a website full of information (princetonsenior.org).

PSRC's 25 collaborative partners and 550 volunteers help to make this all possible. PSRC is the "go-to place" for older adults and their family caregivers.

History 

Jocelyn Helm and Karin Slaby wrote a grant in 1974 to NJ Dept. of Community Affairs to provide programs for residents of Spruce Circle (senior public housing managed by the Housing Authority Borough of Princeton). This program was later called Tenant Services. Additional funding was received from the County to offer needed social services.  In 1976 A Board of Directors was developed, and in 1979 the Princeton Senior Resource Center became a non-profit organization. Funding sources were Borough and Township and HABOP, with funding split 3 ways.  In the 1980s the programs expanded, there were student interns and collaborations with other organizations.

With a grant from the United Way, the HomeFriends program started in 1987 as a friendly visitor program, matching homebound elderly with trained volunteers.  A director was hired for this program.  The Board of Directors became more active in fundraising.  Grants were received from more sources including (1) United Way, and in (2) 1990 from NJ Commission for the Humanities for a program called People and Stories, (3)  NJ Dept. of Health for a program called As Our Parents Grow Older.  In 1991 a grant was received from Mercer County Office on Aging to administer the Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) for MercerCounty, to help elderly and disabled fill out health insurance forms (moved to RWJ-Hamilton in 2001).  Also there was a corporate grant for printing and distribution of a booklet “Princeton Area Community Resources for the Elderly”  which has been reprinted and expanded every 2-3 years.  In 1993 PSRC received a grant for a program called Older Adults Transition Assistance which included professional geriatric counseling and consultations, and information and referral. It has evolved into our support and guidance services.

The Suzanne Patterson Center building had been donated to the Borough of Princeton many years ago and in the 1980s was being used as an activity center for “seniors,” loosely defined, many of whom worked on the initial renovation.  It had originally been a gym for a private school and funds were raised by the Senior Citizens Club for the initial renovation.  Exercise classes, art classes and large meetings were held there, with a director hired by the Borough of Princeton.  After several years it was recognized by many that it would be sensible to combine the programs. In1994 PSRC joined with the Suzanne Patterson Center to unify under one “umbrella” all senior services, programs and activities at the two facilities.  Initially a one year contract with the Township and Borough was negotiated.  Funding continued from the Housing Authority Borough of Princeton to continue the special services provided for tenants.  PSRC continues to serve the community from these two locations.

The LINK (Local Intergenerational Network of Kindness) Program was developed in 1995 out of the former Youth Employment Service.  High school students were matched with elderly for companionship. This porgram was discontinued in 2012.   In 1996 Jocelyn Helm retired as founder and Executive Director.  The new Executive Director was Jan Marmor, who had been the Assistant Director.  That same year PSRC was selected as one of eight pilot sites to help develop accreditation standards for the 15,000 senior centers nationwide under the auspices of the National Council on Aging. In 1997 over 60 community members from Princeton participated in the accreditation self-assessment process, developing action plans for short and long-term goals.  Full accreditation by PSRC was achieved in 1998.  Out of the accreditation process, a commitment was made to increase publicity and to become more visible in the community, and to serve the entire economic spectrum of the community.  Also in 1997 a new program started which was called Grandparents/ Grandpartners, with seniors reading with kindergarten children in the public schools. That program is now called GrandPals.  Fundraising events continued to provide more revenue and in 1999 a Development Consultant was hired.  In 2000 PSRC published the booklet “Alternative Living Arrangements for Seniors” which detailed information about Assisted Living and CCRCs in the Greater Princeton area.  This highlighted questions to ask if investigating these facilities. It is also updated regularly. In 2001 Evergreen Forum, which was started and is overseen by a dedicated Steering Committee, came under the PSRC umbrella of programs.  It is a lifelong learning program for retired or semi-retired people, taught by volunteers. 

Jan Marmor resigned when she left the area in 2002, and Susan Hoskins, LCSW became the new Executive Director of PSRC.  Plans were already underway for major renovation of the Suzanne Patterson Building, with monies ($500,000) provided by MercerCounty, PrincetonTownship and Princeton Borough.  Susan worked on details closely with the architect and with representatives of the Borough of Princeton.  The new space was ready for occupancy in Spring of 2003 with new classrooms and office space, new lighting, and new furnishings.

 In 2003, PSRC created a Strategic Plan to guide the Director and Board.  Mission, vision and strategic issues were identified at a retreat that involved Board, staff and members of the community.  Subsequent plans were approved in 2006 and 2010.

The Suzanne Patterson Building became a hub of senior activities and services.  It is welcoming and perceived to be a helpful place for seniors and their families.  PSRC has become known throughout the Princeton area as the primary resource for seniors and their families.  Newspaper publicity has increased and PSRC’s monthly bulletin Mature Princeton has developed into an important vehicle for communication about senior issues and available activities and services.  The number of office volunteers has grown and there is increased diversity on the Board of Trustees.  With careful consideration, the Board decided in 2003 not to seek NISC reaccreditation because few senior centers have undergone accreditation in the first place, reaccreditation involves repeating the entire process, many are not renewing, and it is very time-consuming and financially expensive.  It could be done in the future if compelling reasons become apparent.

In Spring 2004, the Caregiver Resource Center was opened to highlight the services given to adult children, spouses and others who care for older adults.  The program includes counseling and consultations, support groups, information and referral and a resource library.  HABOP reduced funding for the Tenant Services program, due to a reduction in HUD funding, resulting in a focus on case management and social services that support safe independent living and smooth transitions, and a reduction in on-site social events. 

In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of classes and programs offered.   Each month there is a brown-bag seminar on a related topic, an entertaining movie and often a lecture. The Director’s Message in Mature Princeton and Prime Time cable TV show highlight topics of current interest.   One or two large social events and art shows attract attendance from throughout the community, and at least one trip is planned.  In addition, an annual fall conference is held to provide information and resources on caregiving, future planning or healthy aging.  A growing number of collaborations with other local organizations provide an ever-changing array of programs to a diverse community and make it possible to offer so much.  The PSRC Website has become an increasingly important publicity and communication tool, which also houses the resource directories.

2006 and 2007 focused on improving organizational infrastructure, including creating a new database which holds development, mailing and class registration information, recreating the website, and updating governance (bylaws; policies and procedures; and personnel, volunteer and board manuals).  An Endowment was established for long-term stability of the agency.  Staff, board and community created a new strategic plan to guide efforts for the next 3-4 years, which includes a new mission statement.  In October 2006, PSRC was awarded the Community Spirit Award by Princeton Human Services in recognition of our efforts with inclusivity and on behalf of seniors.

In 2008, PSRC joined with 5 other organizations to establish Partners In Caring, which enabled us to provide a wide array of services to support aging in place.  The Engaged Retirement program began to help people make successful retirement plans with an emphasis on civic engagement. With the economic downturn, we added Encore Careers in 2009 to help people re-enter the workforce and in 2011 renamed the program Next Step: Engaged Retirement & Encore Careers.  Also in 2009, PSRC was asked by the Municipalities to assume oversight of the Crosstown transportation program.

In 2012, Partners In Caring became the United Aging & Disability Partnership with 9 agencies providing services throughout Mercer County.  The LINK program was discontinued although students from Princeton University and area high schools continue to volunteer, especially in the rapidly expanding computer programs.  GrandPals expanded to a third school in Princeton and one  in Trenton.

In 2013 we left the United Way program and started our own PICPrinceton (Partners In Caring).  We also began the Encore Internship program under Next Step.  We are currently working on expanding our health education programs under the title Living Healthy.

There are currently 3 full-time and 8 part-time staff, 4 interns, 50 instructors, 15-20 board members and over 550 volunteers.  Program areas include: Healthy Aging, Support & Guidance, PIC Princeton, HomeFriends, GrandPals, Next Step: Engaged Retirement, Crosstown, and Evergreen Forum.   Approximately 1200 people attend activities and 125 receive support services each week.

Hours

The Suzanne Patterson Building is open 9:00am -5:00pm weekdays, and the Spruce Circle Office is open 10:00am-4:00pm Tues-Friday.



© Princeton Senior Resource Center
45 Stockton Street, Princeton, NJ 08540
Suzanne Patterson Building 609-924-7108
Spruce Circle 609-252-2362
Contact:
Hours:
Suzanne Patterson Building 9AM-5:00PM
Spruce Circle 10:00AM-4:00PM,
Every Weekday Unless Otherwise Noted

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