Community members urge Rockford city leaders to invest in seniors

Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 5:48 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A group of seniors looks for a space to call their own, and hopes Rockford city leaders will invest in a center where they can socialize and spend time with others.

“Rockford needs a senior center. It’s just an immediate obvious need from my perspective and we need a place to meet and to serve our needs,” said community member Richard Schulz.

When Schulz failed to see progress or receive updates from city leaders, he took to social media to express his concerns and received more than 100 comments and reactions. Schulz quickly realized he wasn’t alone. Susan McPherson, a senior facilitator at Spring Creek United Church of Christ, put together a meeting for seniors who often say they feel forgotten about.

“People who are working have coworkers, couples have each other, and seniors just don’t very often get what they need,” said McPherson.

As a result of these meetings, Rockford Neighborhood Specialist Barb Chidley joined the conversation and said the city hears the concerns and is working to bridge the gaps.

“In neighborhood development, we’re intentionally listening to seniors and their needs and we’re attempting to help facilitate conversations with providers of senior services,” said Chidley.

While the city works to address this issue, McPherson says community members can join the senior exercise class she leads every week Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:30 to 10:30am at Spring Creek United Church of Christ.