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Setting the record straight about the new Mill Creek Senior Center

Submitted by on

After years of hard work and advocacy from our members and others in the community, we are thrilled to be moving the Mill Creek Senior Center into our new and improved center on the ground floor of Vintage Mill Creek in May. People who have visited the current Mill Creek Senior Center know it was designed to be office space, not a senior center.

While we have been so grateful to have the City gift us free space for years, we can’t wait to move into a space designed with our seniors in mind.

Our new space is light filled, will be warm and comfortable, and will offer a true home away from home for the hundreds of older adults who use our services each year. We are so grateful for the chance to provide the kind of space our seniors deserve.

To honor the years of support she has provided, we will be naming our new welcome desk after long-time volunteer, Joan Buxton.

Recently, there has been some local news in the Mill Creek Beacon related to the new Mill Creek Senior Center that does not accurately reflect the views of our organization, so I’d like to set the record straight.

The Mill Creek Senior Center is run by the Northshore Senior Center, a private non-profit organization, and we are fortunate to annually receive funding from a number of sources including the City of Mill Creek and Snohomish County. Like most non-profits, we rely on the generosity of local individuals to fill the gaps.

As a relatively small organization (the Mill Creek Senior Center has an annual budget of about $150,000) the new Mill Creek Senior Center never would have been possible without support from both the City of Mill Creek and Vintage of Mill Creek. They have both been incredible partners, donating significant resources (financial and otherwise) and tremendous time and talent to make this long-time dream a reality.

Change of any kind, even when it is positive, can be hard for people. There will be new bus lines to figure out, revisions to our class schedule and new members to integrate into our Mill Creek Senior Center community. The new location will be less convenient for some, and will certainly be much more convenient for others. It is a change.

That said, the overwhelming feedback we have received from our members is that they are incredibly excited to have this new place to call home. While there are a few individuals who have been very vocal about their concerns, these individuals do not represent the viewpoint of our organization and in many ways don’t represent our membership. Some of the most vocal do not live in the City of Mill Creek and are not actually members of the Mill Creek Senior Center.

Our priority right now is on ensuring our new Senior Center opens successfully.

The conversation about cannabis classes has become a time-consuming distraction during this busy time. We have ceased providing classes in the City of Mill Creek’s borrowed space out of respect for City policies, and have made the decision to not provide cannabis classes at our new Mill Creek facility so that we can focus our time and energy on other critical work. This decision was ours and was not influenced by the City of Mill Creek. Our funding was never threatened, and we have offered numerous other cannabis resources in the region for individuals interested in them.

We are very grateful for both the City of Mill Creek and our partners at Vintage for taking a chance on this innovative new model, and we appreciate the community’s continued focus on making this exciting new venture a success. We remain committed to meeting the needs of older adults in our community and know that our new Senior Center will give us more opportunity to do this.

Sincerely,

Brooke Knight
CEO Northshore Senior Center (Bothell, Kenmore and Mill Creek Senior Centers)

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