Featured Organization: Portland Area Service Group "Senior Center"
The Portland Area Service Group, commonly know as the Senior Center, is a place for people of all ages to have fun, to find community, and to make friends. Jan Smith serves the center as director and Brenda Burleson is co-director of the facility.
“We have a lot of fun here,” said Jan. “Everyone is welcome at the facility.”
Clients of the center are typically aged between fifty and eighty years but no one is turned away. Activities include card games and tournaments, Bingo, community dinners, and other pastimes designed to create enjoyment for people of all ages.
“On Mondays we play Setback,” said Jan. “On Tuesdays we play Euchre and on Wednesdays, Hand and Foot. On Thursdays we play Euchre again and on Fridays we offer Bingo. We also enjoy Bingo on Monday evenings.”
The Senior Center, however, is more than simply games. “This is a place where people can make friends with one another and find community,” said Jan. “It’s a cure for the loneliness that some people feel. We get close to people here. If we don’t see them for awhile then we call them to see how they are doing. This is a caring place.”
The Senior Center has community dinners from time to time, it engages in fund-raising activities, and it loans medical equipment to its clients such as walkers, commodes, wheelchairs, canes, and provides incontinent supplies. “We offer these things at no charge to our people,” said Jan. “We simply ask that they return the equipment when they are finished with it.”
Speaking for herself, Jan said that she appreciates the opportunity to be of service to the community by helping to run the facility. “I enjoy being around these people and in becoming close to them,” she said. “I find it satisfying to do my job and to make people happy. We invite people to come here and to check us out. We want them to see what we have to offer. I think that they will be glad that they did so.”
The Senior Center is a non-profit organization and it is always looking for volunteers to help out with such things as Bingo and fundraising. Individuals who are interested in such volunteer opportunities may call the telephone number below.
144 Kent Street
Hours: M-F 9 AM – 3:30 PM
Monday Night Bingo 6 to 9:30 PM
This piece was originally published in the Downtown Portland "On the Street" newsletter for September 2023. You can find the full newsletter HERE.