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Friendship Center Brings Back Full-Time Social Fun

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(Santa Barbara, CA) Like the rest of our community, Friendship Center has seen so much change in recent years. In two short years we have gone from a thriving day program to shutting down, to creating our multifaceted virtual and telehealth Community Connect Adult Program (CCAP), and to re-opening our hybrid, cohorted, day program. Maintaining people’s health and safety while creating spaces for socialization and respite has been at the forefront of Friendship Center’s decision making.

The Center’s highly experienced staff and volunteers are dedicated, hands-on, and focused on the comfort and well-being of our members in our beautiful, safe, and inviting Montecito setting. Our dedicated team is excited to announce that we have extended our program hours beginning March 1, 2022. We are open Monday through Thursday from 9am-4pm, and on Fridays from 9am-12:30pm. Friendship Center is now serving an afternoon snack on all days and provide hot lunches Monday through Thursday. The day program will continue to expand in its activities, entertainers, volunteers, and excursions!

We are not alone in our excitement. Executive Director, Heidi Holly, was interviewed alongside caregiver Marlene Vitanza on KEYT News this past Monday to discuss the positive impact Friendship Center has made for her husband and member, John, as well as herself. Our members were filmed as they enjoyed singing with Carol Ann (our Vitality partner from Santa Barbara Community College), and while doing outdoor activities with our wonderful staff members.

“We really focus in on what our seniors want to do and how they can be active during the day,” Friendship Center Executive Director Heidi Holly said. “This gives their caregivers a much-needed break.”

March 1 also marked the end of Friendship Center’s virtual services, including our daily bingo sessions via Zoom. This may change in the future as we continue to work safely through the pandemic, but for now, our CCAP program will be shelved as we focus on growing our in-person program. We’re grateful to have had the opportunity to stay connected with each member virtually, and thank everyone for their extended support. We hope for our CCAP members to join us in-person at our Montecito Day Program!

In two years, which to many have felt like an eternity, we have finally come full circle. We are hopeful for what’s to come, and are thankful that through everything Friendship Center has continued its mission of providing innovative activities and programs for our aging adults, and fostering a sense of compassionate community.

Interested in enrolling in our program? Email Kim Larsen, Family Services Manager, at kim@friendshipcentersb.org or call 805-969-0859 ext. 15.

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