Housing for the Elderly and Mobility Impaired
In 1979, El Centro entered into a partnership with the federal department of Housing and Urban Development to secure resources for a housing initiative to serve low income individuals and the elderly. In 1982, more housing units were constructed. The program was the first in the city to focus on the housing needs of Latinos, while serving other low income elderly. Additionally, the Centro provided bilingual educational and social services to residents. Today, the Housing Department manages 132 apartments at six (6) housing complexes throughout the city and continues to provide subsidized quality and safe housing to low income elderly and mobility impaired individuals. The Centro has partnerships with the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) and the City and County to serve elderly individuals who are capable of independent living. The need for these services continues.
During 2007, for instance, approximately 154 seniors and mobility impaired individuals were served. Of these, approximately 78% were Latinos, 17% were White; 3.3% were African American, and 2.6% were of other origin. In addition, 96% had annual incomes below $12,000. Case management and bilingual social services were provided in over 1,000 instances/visits.
Recreational and educational programs for the elderly and disabled are aligned with El Centro’s Social Services Program. Partially supported with United Way funds, the Special Living Arrangements Program provides a Coordinator for education and social support services, including special needs. Through social and recreational activities, residents reduce their isolation, offset depression, and are assisted when they reveal mental illness. Healthy living and community involvement are strongly promoted, as well as positive interactions among residents. Efforts are made to connect individual elderly residents with their families. Many of these services are offered in partnership with various social service agencies, the Alzheimer’s Association, Community Advocates, the Social Security Administration, the City’s Fire Department, the Red Cross, the American Heart Association, and the Milwaukee Conservatory of Music.
Office located at:
614 W. National Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53204
Hernan Castillo, Manager
Carmen C. Cabrera, Service Coordinator