We want everyone to know that we are committed to our senior centers.
Due to state shutdowns, the North Mesa and San Jose Senior Centers have been closed for several months now. We have been able to utilize the San Jose Senior Center as a site for drive-thru meal distribution as a part of our partnership with the Southeast New Mexico Community Action Corporation.
Our two senior centers are normally social hubs of our community. They provide a location for residents to exercise, participate in games and activities, listen to music, and, more than anything else, to enjoy visiting with good friends.
Unfortunately, many senior center activities naturally involve participants gathering. We are currently prohibited from gatherings of more than 10 people due to the state’s “stay home order.” Additionally, this concern is heightened due to seniors being considered vulnerable to COVID-19. This is one of the many tragedies of 2020 – as bridge games, quilting meetings and line dancing give so many residents something fun to look forward to each week.
Both of our senior centers are in the process of developing creative ways to reach out to the community. They are putting together curbside programs where people can pick up games and books and developing online programs where people can work out together. We fully realize that this does not fill the community need met by our senior centers and want you to know that this is just a first step.
We are also looking for COVID-safe ways to allow our seniors to socialize, including the possibility of small-scale outdoor gatherings now that the weather (we hope) has cooled down a little bit.
Of course, our first priority is safety- and we are deeply committed to getting our COVID-19 numbers down in Carlsbad and across Eddy County. However, the numerous emotional and psychological issues related to everything that has happened this year must also be addressed. In short, we want our seniors to know that we miss our senior centers just as much as they do and are working on restoring as much as we can, given the current health situation.
Additionally, we have now entered the Phase 1 of our renovation of the former Pate Elementary into what will become the new San Jose Senior Center. This phase includes demolition and asbestos removal. The project has only started, but it is going to be a larger and much more accommodating facility once it is complete. We would like nothing more than to move through this COVID shutdown and re-open with even better facilities than before.
From the office of Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway