Activity center

Northport eyes new free-standing senior activity center

NORTHPORT, AL – The City of Northport is considering the possibility of creating a new Northport Seniors Activity Center to better facilitate Focus 50+ and its mission to provide ongoing services to area seniors.

Although Focus 50+ offers a wide range of services for seniors, it does not currently have its own facility in Northport to deliver programs. Instead, the nonprofit primarily leased space at the McAbee Activity Center for its programming.

District 1 Councilwoman Christy Bobo, who was the driving force behind the organization of a public interest meeting, told Patch that Focus 50+ is currently helping more than 100 seniors who live within the city limits. of Northport.

She explained that many of these seniors need help getting to dialysis appointments, cancer treatment appointments, social services visits, or picking up necessary prescriptions.

“Focus provides these valuable services to our seniors with an ever-growing population and growing needs met,” Bobo said. “There are four Tuscaloosa sites for seniors who wish to participate in activities offered by Focus 50+. However, there is not yet one in the Northport area.”

Bobo insists that Focus 50+ offer its services to Northport ratepayers and wants to address the need for more permanent programming in Northport.

“Focus 50+ has already extended its services to Northport by sharing partnerships with [the University of Alabama] for computer classes and other programs,” she said.

For example, Bobo went on to say that Focus 50+ is planning to hold a free hearing screening at Northport Town Hall on Friday, October 21. This event will also include a speech and cognitive skills screening.

Additionally, Bobo pointed out that Focus 50+ is currently offering Northport citizens free 8-week computer and telephone courses.

“They are also partnering with the City of Northport to soon offer recreational activities such as BINGO,” she said. “We are delighted that the new Chief Executive [Nicole Harshman] at Focus 50+ took an active role in listening to the needs of our citizens and joined in to help add services to Northport as soon as she took on the leadership role. »

While there is excitement around current and proposed programming, Bobo said there is still a need for citizen input.

“We are all looking forward to seeing this partnership grow,” she said.

City Council Speaker Jeff Hogg also expressed support for a stand-alone seniors’ activity center, as the city considers a new sports tournament facility and water park to expand amenities for its citizens. With that in mind, he stressed the importance of not neglecting the older citizens of Northport.

“By partnering with Focus 50+, we are encouraging our citizens to stay or get active by showing our commitment to all ages within our community,” he said. “We believe this discussion will spark a positive initiative as we continue to grow Northport in a positive way.”

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