Senior Spotlight

Senior Spotlight: Resources for Seniors

By Judy Goddess


Complete the census. This a once in every 10-year effort to count everyone living in the U.S. – from infants to great grandparents and beyond. You can complete it online, by mail or on the phone. Data from the census determines our representation in Congress and informs the distribution of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds over the next decade. When you’re not counted, your community appears smaller than it really is and California will receive fewer funds for schools, community programs and health care, emergency services, housing, food programs, services for seniors and for children.

The last day to complete the census is Sept. 30. You can complete the census by phone: (844) 330-2020 English; online; or by mailing back the paper questionnaire sent to your home.


Oct. 19, 2020 is the last day to register to vote in the Nov. 3 election. If you are not registered, or if you have moved and need to change your registration, now is the time to do it. You can register to vote at


I had planned to say that the Community Living Campaign is giving away a limited number of free $50 Lyft vouchers to seniors and people with disabilities for the month of September, but Lyft has threatened to stop service in California. If they are still around, call Cathy DeLuca at CLC and request a voucher: (821) 1003 x122.

SFMTA will continue to support low-cost taxi rides for seniors and people with disabilities for the foreseeable future. This is a voucher program: $6 buys you $30 in rides; $12 buys $60 in rides.  The Essential Trip Card operates like a debit card, which means you must fund the card before you plan to use it.  To apply call 311 weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. and ask to be transferred to an ETC agent.

Though rail service was re-introduced on Aug. 22, three days later SFMTA announced that the Muni has been suspended for the next eight weeks. Service will be provided by bus.


The number of hungry San Franciscans has doubled since the start of the pandemic. The Richmond Neighborhood Center (RNC), which operates the free food programs in the Richmond, estimates it serves 1,100 people a week at its pantries and 300 people in its home-delivered meals programs. But, because schools and other pantry locations have been closed, it has been more difficult to receive food. The three weekly free food programs previously available in the Inner and Outer Richmond have been relocated to the Richmond Neighborhood Center, 741 30th Ave. You must live in the 94121 or 94118 to qualify for these programs.

In addition, the RNC has opened a pop-up pantry at the Golden Gate Senior Center, 6101 Fulton St., open to Richmond and non-Richmond residents.  Call RNC for more information: (415) 751-6600.

The Richmond Neighborhood Center also delivers food to 300 Richmond District seniors 65 or older, or adults living with underlying health conditions. There is currently a waiting list for service.

You can also find free food pantries in the Sunset District at: Abraham Lincoln High School, 2162 24th Ave.; A.P. Giannini Middle School, 3151 Ortega St.; Kezar Stadium, 670 Kezar Dr.; and the Stonestown YMCA, 333 Eucalyptus Dr. The first two are open Fridays from 9 – 1 p.m.; the Kezar and Stonestown pantries are open Wednesdays from noon – 4 p.m..

Great Plates delivers three restaurant meals a day to seniors 65 and older, adults with disabilities, or to persons 60-64 with an underlying health condition. This temporary program is set to close on Sept. 9, but it has previously been extended and may be again. For information, visit, or call (415) 355-6700 during business hours.


For questions about COVID, tune in to Dr. Anna Chodos’ weekly information session, every Friday at noon: or call: (669) 900-6833, Meeting ID#298 110 801. Password for both: 671492.


Most programs have firmly settled into connecting through the virtual world. Art museums offer virtual tours, musical groups recycle old programs and present new ones, there are walking tours, theater performances, adult education classes, comedy shows, and countless films for screening.  It’s a rich time for viewing and learning online. And since we’re all unique, far be it from me to tell you what to watch.

If you want to talk with people and get involved, check out these two free programs. Well Connected, the Senior Center Without Walls, prides itself on nurturing friendships locally and across the country. For a program catalog and to register: or call (877) 797-7299.

The Community Living Campaign: Before the pandemic, CLC offered programs in neighborhoods around the City, now their exercise classes and classes on nutrition, art, cooking, writing, tech training as well as one-on-one computer training are all available on Zoom or on the phone. CLCs catalog is available at:, or (415) 821-1003.


You don’t need me to tell you that these are difficult times. We’ve been in lockdown for over five months, and with the flu and fire season upon us, we may be inside for many more months. A call to family and friends can help, but sometimes that’s not enough.

The Friendship Line is a crisis intervention center and a “warm” line focusing on disabled adults and people 60 and older. TFL offers routine, even daily, phone calls that provide emotional support, medication reminders and well-being check-ins. TFL is available 24/7. Call their toll-free number: (888) 670-1360.

Or you can call the Mental Health warm line. The line now operates 24/7. Call or text their toll-free number: (855) 845-7415.

Judy Goddess is a reporter with SF Senior Beat. For more information, please visit or contact Judy at (415) 759-1994 or be email at

Categories: Senior Spotlight

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