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Senior Outreach . Results of 4 years of work!. Why seniors are considered underserved?. Throughout the United States the average is about the same - Only 1 out of every 3 qualifying senior receives the assistance he/she needs and deserves. 2003 .

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senior outreach

Senior Outreach

Results of 4 years of work!

why seniors are considered underserved
Why seniors are considered underserved?

Throughout the United States the average is about the same -

Only 1 out of every 3 qualifying senior receives the assistance he/she needs and deserves

  • PHFO interviewed seniors at various Washington County Senior Centers and found the results were much like the rest of country
  • Seniors believed the following myths to be true:
    • Did not know they qualified
    • Believed cars and homes would disqualify them
    • Believed taking benefits would mean others went without
    • Believed getting benefits is charity
    • Believed it hurt Oregon’s economy
responses to myths
Responses to Myths
  • Oregon uses 185% of the Federal Poverty Level – meaning more people qualify
  • In Oregon assets such as owning a car, home, money in the bank, 401K, for most households, does not affect eligibility
  • SNAP benefits expand and contract as needed - never runs out of funds
  • Seniors have paid into SNAP just like they have paid into Social Security – so not a handout
  • Using SNAP has benefited Oregon with over $1billion federal dollars brought back here
  • PHFO hired me for outreach to seniors in Washington County
  • First step was to attend the Loaves and Fishes/Senior Center meetings to inform them about SNAP and how it would benefit their seniors
  • A date was established for me to come in and set up a table
table information
Table Information
  • DHS SNAP material for seniors
  • Other DHS material
  • Discount prescription cards
  • Medical information (vision, dental, hearing, housing)
  • Emergency food sources i.e. Oregon Food Bank
  • Community Action
  • Ride Connection
  • Washington County DAVS
  • Other like-minded organizations
what didn t work
What didn’t work?
  • Tried to give a short interactive talk about SNAP to seniors as they ate

Why didn’t work

  • Senior’s did not want to be interrupted during their social mealtime
  • Seniors would talk loudly over me
  • Other seniors could not hear
  • Told manager I was interrupting their social time

What didn’t work?

  • Visited with each table to provide senior’s with information

Why didn’t work

  • Seniors do not want to talk to anyone during their social/lunch time even if giving them a free item
  • Wanted to know what I was trying to sell them
what did work
What did work!
  • Giving a brief 2-minute talk mentioning the income limit to qualify along with something special that they could get at my table
  • This brought seniors who were previously reluctant to visit my table to come over and pick up informationand free item

Seniors were interested in these free items :

      • Pill boxes
      • Magnetic notepads
      • Shopping bags
      • Pens/pencils
      • Resource information
  • Results:
    • Brought seniors up to the table and more easily ask about services
    • Eventually seniors began to look forward to my arrival and would come up to just chat
seniors and people with disabilities
Seniors and People with Disabilities
  • A partnership was developed with Hillsboro SPD
  • Intake Specialist, Connie Cruz, joined me at Washington County Senior Centers and community resource fairs
  • Connie was able to start the process for seniors receiving benefits by taking their information and faxing it to the correct office
other organizations
Other Organizations
  • Spoke to like minded organizations such as:
    • Kiwanis’s
    • Rotary Club
    • Various Faith Groups
    • Washington City Councils
    • AARP

Senior Hunger


It’s a SNAP!


Senior Hunger

  • Outlined the benefits of good nutrition for seniors
  • Included information about how to apply for SNAP and other benefits
  • Focused on how groups or individuals could help seniors and disabled get the nutrition they need

It’s a SNAP!

  • Demonstrated how easy it is for a senior to find out about SNAP
  • Outlined the entire application process
  • Showed a senior shopping and enjoying the resulting benefits
  • This presentation especially good for senior centers

PowerPoint presentations are available on the Partner website

  • Organizations have downloaded the presentations from our website and altered to benefit their seniors.
future work
Future Work
  • Have started reaching out to seniors in Multnomah County
  • Working with AARP to train volunteers for work at senior centers and groups
  • Working with Healthy Elders/Healthy Communities to reach faith groups
  • Working with Latino organizations to reach the Hispanic population
  • Hope to eventually reach physicians and health care workers
thank you
Thank you

Judith Auslander, MA

SNAP Senior Outreach Specialist

[email protected]

503-595-5501 ext. 7