A Cathedral City-based nonprofit organization that helps local seniors received a $25,000 grant from a local foundation that the nonprofit will use to continue assisting seniors obtain government benefits and other services.
“Most seniors would rather be self-sufficient and not have to ask for frequent handouts to help pay for their basic expenses such as food, utilities or medical co-pays,” said Chris O’Hanlon, founder of Senior Advocates of the Desert. “Senior Advocates of the Desert can often help seniors complete complicated paperwork that allows seniors to live independently and with a sense of dignity and security.”
Palm Desert’s H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation, in partnership with local television station KESQ, teamed up to award $25,0000 to the nonprofit, which helps about 11,000 low-income seniors each year navigate the often laborious process of applying for government and other crucial services. These services include Medicare, Supplemental Security Income, in-home supportive services, Social Security, utility discounts and others.
The nonprofit also provides emergency financial relief to seniors in the midst of a dilemma that affects their health, safety or wellbeing, including rent and utility subsidies and medical bills not covered by insurance.
The grant will also help the nonprofit boost its outreach, which is now done mostly over the phone and through livestreaming software due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The nonprofit used to offer specific office hours at four local senior centers before the centers were closed due to the pandemic.
“It’s important that someone is looking out for our community’s seniors. The assistance that Senior Advocates of the Desert provides can effectively change people’s lives,” said Catharine Reed, the foundation’s vice president of charitable programs.
For more information about Senior Advocates of the Desert, go to www.saotd.org or call 760-202-1024.