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Lunch and learn event to focus on aging in place, housing insecurity for seniors

Crystal Graham
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Image by Randall Wolf

As adults age, one major concern is housing instability and homelessness. As part of an ongoing effort to address housing insecurity, The Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge and a number of community partners worked together to launch a Lunch & Learn series.

On Thursday, the fourth installment will address accessible housing and housing for older adults.

Beth Bland from the Valley Program for Aging Services and Scott and Sarah Pruett from the Universal Design Project will speak on the topic.

Participation in the series is free of charge.

“It’s important to keep learning and talking about various and different concerns along the wide spectrum that is housing,” said Lydia Campbell, community-based services manager at Valley Community Service Board. “Aging in place is particularly important to address, because the number of seniors experiencing homelessness and severe housing instability is growing across our community and our nation. We cannot treat our elders this way.”

A two-day housing summit was held in the fall of 2023. The series was launches as a way to continue and expand the discussions started there.

“When we committed our time and resources to addressing housing insecurity, we quickly discovered that housing is the proverbial onion with seemingly endless layers of interconnected issues,” said Dan Layman, CEO of the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge. “We planned for a series of community gatherings over coffee and lunch to take a deeper dive into as many related issues as possible.”

Previous discussions centered around renter’s rights, housing first and housing stock and the housing crisis.

“This series of gatherings also serves to maintain community interest in momentum,” Layman said, “while we are working with our partners on the next big steps.”

The “Aging in Place” Lunch & Learn will take place at the Staunton Innovation Hub at noon on Thursday. The Hub is located at 11 N. Central Ave. in Staunton.

For more information, visit https://sawhousing.com

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.