July - August 2014This year is PSRC’s 40th year! We will be celebrating in different ways all year, but the “don’t miss” event will be the gala on September 21. Please come celebrate what PSRC has done for you and this community and hear about what we are planning for the future!
Fired up for 40 more!
A brief history.
In 1974 Joce Helm and Karin Slaby got a grant from the NJ Department of
Community Affairs to provide activities for residents of Spruce Circle
(subsidized senior housing). The program expanded with additional funding
from HABOP and the Borough, a board was developed in 1976, and
the Princeton Senior Resource Center was registered as a
501(c)(3) non-profit in 1979.
A grant from the United Way established the HomeFriends
program in 1987. This program matches adult volunteers with
home-based older adults and people with disabilities,
providing support such as shopping and friendly visits
to support independent living. Through the years, other
grants have brought programs like People and Stories,
As Our Parents Grow Older, LAFF and the SHIP program
to PSRC. In 1991, PSRC began to publish the “Princeton
Area Community Resources for the Elderly, a guide to area
services.” We continue to update this directory on our
Meanwhile, the Suzanne Patterson Center had been donated to
the Borough and designated as an activity center for seniors,
many of whom worked on the initial renovation in the 1980s.
It had been a private school gym, and was named for
the wife of the Borough Mayor who advocated for this
use. Exercise and art classes were conducted and various
meetings held there, coordinated by a Borough director. In
1994, the Borough and Township began contracting with
PSRC to provide all services for older adults under one co-
The LINK program was started in 1995, linking teen visitors
to home-based seniors. It was discontinued in 2012. Joce
passed the director’s torch to Jan Marmor in 1996, who
led the organization through the process of National Senior
Center Accreditation in 1997-8. GrandPals started in 1997,
with older adults reading with kindergarteners at Little-
and a new guide “Alternative Living Arrangements for
Seniors” was created in response to the rapid development
of Age-Restricted, Assisted Living and Continuing Care
Living Communities. This has since been incorporated into
the Community Resource Directory.
The Evergreen Forum began in 2001 with four lifelong
learning courses (now 21). I became director in 2002,
as major renovations of the Suzanne Patterson Building
commenced with funding from the municipalities and
Mercer County. In 2003 we elected to undergo a Strategic
Plan rather than reaccreditation. This, and subsequent plans,
have focused on being an active and welcoming center
for all in this diverse community, building community
and collaboration, being a prime source of information and
support, and being responsive to innovations in the aging
field and to needs of three generations of people age 55+.
In 2004, the Caregiver Resource Center was established
to highlight services for family caregivers. The Next Step:
Engaged Retirement & Encore Careers program began in
2009, offering programs to help people make the transition
into retirement and active community engagement. Also
in 2009, PSRC assumed oversight of the Crosstown
Transportation program. We also developed our computer
programs, expanding to offer classes and individual support
on a range of devices.
In 2008, PSRC joined with five (later nine) other organizations
under a United Way grant to form the United Aging &
Disability Partnership, to support aging in place. We left
the formal collaboration in 2013 and started Partners in
the center of care, and collaborating with local partners.
We pride ourselves in being the best resource in the area, a
key service as more people elect to age in place and need
help understanding and coordinating care.
In 1976, the annual budget was $17,255; in 1984, it was
$13,090; in 1994 it was $162,672; in 2004 it was $294,729
and today $638,907. In the early years we had no assets,
and today we have a healthy endowment to ensure growth
The one thing we can count on is change. Each generation
has ideas about how they want to spend time, where they
want to live, and what support they need. We are also
committed to introducing new ideas to keep our programs
fresh and innovative. Over the years, many programs have
come and gone in response to changing needs, interests
and funding. Next issue, I will talk about what we have
done this year.
Susan W. Hoskins LCSW