Established in 2000, ELDERfriends® : A Foundation for Older Adults was created out of a need for private support from the community to augment the restricted public funds set aside for the various services that the Area Agency on Aging, Region One offers. ELDERfriends® develops community resources to address the unmet social service needs of the frail elderly, seniors with limited incomes, and special populations such as victims of late life domestic violence.
Since the foundation's inception, its primary focus has been to raise funds to acquire a transitional housing facility for victims of late life domestic violence and elder abuse. A Leadership Gifts Campaign is conducted each year, securing donations and multi-year pledges from the Area Agency's inner family -- the Area Agency board of directors and advisory council, the ELDERfriends® board, the DOVES board, and Area Agency staff. This annual campaign has generated more than $150,000 in support of the DOVES transitional housing program.
Additionally, funding was secured from government, corporations and community foundations, resulting in the acquisition in May 2003 of a 19-unit housing complex in Phoenix. This transitional housing facility gives older victims of domestic violence and elder abuse a safe place to live for up to two years. Funds for the purchase and renovation of the property came in the form of forgivable loans of $1 million from the City of Phoenix and $342,000 from the Arizona Department of Housing. A three-year grant of $275,000 was awarded by The Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust in support of the DOVES transitional housing program, and the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust contributed $225,000 over three years toward program costs.
ELDERfriends® also facilitates both monetary and in-kind contributions from businesses and organizations in the community to meet the on-going needs of the DOVES® transitional housing program.
ELDERfriends® plays an important role in raising awareness of the need for transitional housing and the importance of supporting victims of late life domestic violence and elder abuse in our community.
ELDERfriends® Board of Directors
Chairman – Cathy Shiroda
Vice Chairman – Maria Parham
Sec/Treas – Paul Cocuzza
President & CEO – Mary Lynn Kasunic