Senior Community Centers of San Diego
525 14th Street
Suite 200
San Diego CA 92101-7556
Contact Information
Address 525 14th Street
Suite 200
San Diego, CA 921017556
Telephone (619) 235-6572
Fax 619 235-9829
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 1973
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $5,934,900.00
Projected Expenses $5,934,900.00
Projected Annual Revenue $5,934,900.00 (2014)

Our Senior Nutrition Program addresses hunger and food insecurity among one of our community’s most vulnerable populations – low income seniors age 60 and older. Nearly all our clients live at or below the poverty level, with most unable to meet their basic needs – food, housing, transportation and health care, without assistance. While all of these needs are critical, food is the most immediate concern and is what initially brings them to Senior Community Centers. Imagine having to choose between paying for prescription medication or buying food for dinner. These are the hard choices our elderly clients face every day.

Access to a regular source of nutritious food is critical as we age, especially for those suffering from health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. We make sure all seniors have access to at least one healthy and complete meal every day. For most, these meals are often their only source of nutrition and help to reduce or alleviate the anxiety and health concerns hunger can cause. We offer meals seven days a week at our downtown Wellness Center and five days a week at 7 congregate meal sites and 2 housing facilities throughout San Diego County. We also provide daily meals to over 500 homebound seniors through our Home Delivered Meals Program and offer nutrition education to all seniors to help them make good food choices for optimal health.

Budget 3597700
Population Served Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens, Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent, Adults
Short Term Success
Serve over 500,000 congregate and home-delivered meals each year.
Long term Success
End senior hunger and the risks to health caused by malnutrition.
Program Success Monitored By
Number of seniors eating meals daily; nutritional risk assessment responses; change in number of reported health conditions
Examples of Program Success

 “Not another minute can pass before saying my heartfelt “thank you”…for allowing me to receive your meals…I sincerely thank each of you for your kindness and consideration.

 Those meals are definitely making me stronger, with each passing day. We are so blessed to have this service. And, may I add, both Francisco and Carlos [drivers] are jewels. They make my day. Very humbly, Frances.”

Every afternoon Home Delivered Meals client Frances, age 62, is greeted by either Francisco or Carlos. They deliver her food but they also give her a warm smile and ask how she’s doing. They offer kindness and comfort at a time in her life when she has very few people to turn to. The food is nourishing her body but the interaction with the drivers nourishes her spirit.

Legally blind and unable to drive or work, Frances relies heavily on the Home Delivered Meals program. She receives 2 meals a day, 7 days a week.


The Supportive Services program addresses the barriers that typically compromise the wellbeing of low-income seniors. We are their safety net, providing a comprehensive, integrated network of vital services for healthy aging that focus on prevention, intervention and education in partnership with staff they feel comfortable talking to. With the fear of having to move to a nursing home high on the list of reasons many do not seek assistance until an emergency arises, it is critical to provide a support system they can trust. The Supportive Services program is composed of three core service areas: Social Services Case Management, Homeless Prevention, Supportive Housing Services.

Budget 1273000
Category Human Services, General/Other Senior Services
Population Served Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens, Elderly and/or Disabled, Adults
Short Term Success
All seniors requesting assistance will receive direct services or referrals that meet their specific needs.
Long term Success
No senior will experience premature institutionalization due to preventable social service or health challenges.
Program Success Monitored By
Number of seniors reporting increased quality of life through survey or direct contact with case managers.
Examples of Program Success

Utilizing a housing first model, the Homeless Prevention Program connects homeless seniors with case managers who provide them with access to housing, meals, health services and counseling. Clients work with their case manager to set up individualized case plans with mutually agreed upon goals toward achieving stable housing and successful independent living. The case plan includes helping seniors access benefits they may be eligible for (Social Security, Medicare, SSI, etc.), developing a savings plan, undergoing a health assessment with the nurse and addressing medical needs. Senior Community Centers has 10 units at the Sara Francis, a single room occupancy (SRO) Hotel, where seniors are able to live before transitioning to permanent housing. The average stay for clients in this program is 90-120 days. The overall goal for clients participating in this program, is to move into and maintain permanent, affordable housing. With a 90 percent success rate, most seniors achieve this goal.



Safe and secure permanent, affordable housing ensures that seniors remain healthy, happy, and independent for as long as possible. One of the greatest concerns expressed by our senior clients is being able to live on their own and we do all we can to support their efforts to do so.


Seniors living in one of our two housing facilities have their own apartments, enter into rental agreements and pay their own rent, just as in other rental housing. The difference is that they can access on-site supportive services including a nurse, case manager, meals, computer lab/library, garden/private patio (depending on location) and social activities, all designed to address their individual needs and help them live satisfying lives.

Budget inc in health and wellness budget
Category Human Services, General/Other Senior Services
Population Served Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens, Elderly and/or Disabled, Adults
Short Term Success
All seniors who request it will have access to transitional or permanent housing options.
Long term Success
No senior will be homeless or unable to locate affordable housing.
Program Success Monitored By
Reduction in number of homeless or near homeless seniors.
Examples of Program Success

Bill and Sonja (ages 91 and 82), were found living in their car downtown.  Displaced when they lost their home in the Northwest, they were unable to find an affordable place to live and had no choice but to sleep in their car on a downtown street.


They were referred to the health and wellness team at the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center that afternoon who discovered they hadn’t had anything to eat all day. Our nutrition staff quickly put a hot meal together that absolutely amazed the couple. They couldn’t believe that assistance like this was available. Asked how they were doing, Sonja gave a big smile and said, “Much better now!” 


They met with a case manager who assessed their needs and placed them in a room at a hotel downtown through our Transitional Housing Program. Soon after, they moved into our permanent supportive housing facility, City Heights Square where they can visit with a nurse or a case manager, eat a nutritious lunch, and socialize with other residents.



The Lifelong Learning program helps seniors remain active by offering a variety of activities that engage them mentally, physically, and socially. Whether it’s learning a new skill, joining an exercise class or locating a volunteer opportunity, there is something for seniors of all backgrounds.

Classes are open to all seniors in the community at no or low cost and include fitness, interactive games, Health seminars, Arts and Crafts, computer skills and social activities.

The Civic Engagement program highlights seniors’ strengths rather than needs or weaknesses. By discovering their talents, skills and abilities, older adults are encouraged to form relationships and participate in meaningful activities to enhance the quality of their lives and give back to the community.

Community volunteers are Individuals, service groups, and corporations who donate thousands of hours each year through our Serving Seniors program, serving lunch at our various locations or helping with classes. 

Budget 200000
Category Human Services, General/Other Senior Services
Population Served Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens, Elderly and/or Disabled, Adults
Short Term Success
Half of the seniors who come to the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center will participate in the program.
Long term Success
Increased quality of life and improved wellbeing for all seniors.
Program Success Monitored By
Attendance records and participation surveys.
Examples of Program Success

The best thing about tai chi is that in order to do it, you have to completely forget about everything and relax. In doing so, you take away the possibility of falling and find balance.” 

Since participating in tai chi, Roberta, age 71, who’s suffered multiple strokes in the past, has regained her confidence in walking and can now even walk backwards without the fear of falling.

The Health Services program is comprised of three different areas:
Nurse Case Management
The role of the Nurse Case Manager is to promote healthy aging and advocate for seniors healthcare needs through preventative care, empowerment, and education.
Passport to Health
Combines combine our care coordination services with a free-standing health kiosk located at the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center. The kiosk measures vital health markers and the data is immediately sent wirelessly to the client and to Senior Community Centers’ Geriatric Care Coordinator. The data is used as part of a coordinated care plan to ensure seniors receive the proper health and wellness care they need. 
Mental Health
We provide culturally sensitive and supportive on-site mental health education, counseling, referrals and assessment  We have a mental health specialist on staff and through a 17-year partnership with Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital, psychiatric nurses and a psychiatrist are helping seniors live a more stable life.
Budget 157,314
Category Human Services, General/Other Senior Services
Population Served Elderly and/or Disabled, Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens, Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
Short Term Success The goal of the Nurse Case Management Program is to provide proactive clinical services that meet the needs, unique challenges and expectations of the seniors we serve. Our goals of the program are to improve and increase health services and increase health education that empowers the senior to be part of his/her own wellness solutions.
Long term Success
The seniors we serve comprise the lowest income, highest risk, most vulnerable populations in San Diego. They average monthly incomes of just over $800, not even half of what is needed to have their basic needs met. All are over the age of 60, most are single with no familial support and live alone in nearby apartments, single room occupancy hotels, are homeless, or are at-risk of becoming homeless. Many seniors come to us when they have no one else to turn to, in effect we are their safety-net. Because of their minimal incomes, our clients also have limited access to healthcare and do not have the resources or the support system in place to adequately address their health needs. Our health and supportive services prevent low-income seniors from ending up in shelters, nursing homes, on the streets, in ER rooms and are preventative in nature. In effect, our preventative services save hundreds in tax dollars. Our Nurse Case Management Services help reduce health disparities by providing direct preventative care and health education to low-income seniors.
Program Success Monitored By Senior Community Centers uses a software program called Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) developed by Social Solutions. Each case manager provides an intake and tracks individual client needs, issues, and the resolution to ensure those needs are being met. We also provide pre and post assessment data to measure the impact our programs have had on seniors when they first came to us for help and at the end of our fiscal year.
Examples of Program Success
An excellent success story of why health education is so important is Gwen’s story. Gwen has been an SCC client for more than 5 years.

A few years ago Gwen collapsed suddenly and while at the hospital she learned that she was a diabetic. She started seeing the Nurse Case Manager three times a week to monitor blood pressure, sugar levels and weight. She quit smoking, began exercising more, taking medication and receiving regular information on managing diabetes. She managed to get an excellent handle on her disease by lowering her blood sugars, losing weight (which resulted in another reduction in her blood sugars), as well as a reduction in her blood pressure which increased her heart health. 

Gwen shared, “The nurse is good, she is really good, she has really monitored me a lot.” Her physician is very pleased that she has the nurse at SCC to assist her patient and is very pleased with Gwen’s progress. Gwen leads an active lifestyle singing in the church choir, volunteering, teaching a crocheting class, cooking for neighbors in need and spending time with her friends and family. None of this would have been possible without Gwen’s commitment to managing the disease and the consistent support from our nurse case managers. 

Nurse case management is a vital part of the health and wellness services offered by Senior Community Centers. Many of the seniors we serve have health issues that have not been addressed for a long period of time, if at all. We often find that clients are not aware of how their behavior affects their health condition. The nurse is able to take as much time with each client as needed to counsel them on their medication, diet and the importance of monitoring their condition. This program has improved the overall health and wellbeing of hundreds of clients and reduced the need for emergency services.

Mission Statement
Helping seniors in poverty live healthy and fulfilling lives.
Background Statement

Since 1970, Senior Community Centers’ innovative solutions have helped San Diego seniors struggling with poverty and hunger. The thousands of meals the organization provides each day to their clients are not a luxury - they are a necessity. The nutrition not only keeps them alive, but often keeps them living independently on their own rather than in institutional care, which costs taxpayers much, much more. From meals to housing to health and wellness services, no other San Diego area non-profit agency provides the wraparound support the seniors need under one roof. With ongoing state and federal budget cuts, Senior Community Centers bridges this growing financial gap for seniors and provides a safety net for seniors, who otherwise would have nowhere to turn.

Senior Community Centers now serves over 500,000 congregate and home-delivered meals annually. Other services include nutrition and health education, healthcare and social services, mental health services, entitlement and legal counseling, case management, civic engagement, recreational and social activities, homeless prevention and affordable supportive housing. Each program plays a critical role in the survival, health, and independence of seniors who, in most cases, live below the poverty level.  

Being a strong “voice” for all seniors through advocacy at all levels of government and through the media is an agency core value. It works to dispel “aging” stereotypes to ensure that seniors are treated with the dignity and respect they are due. 

Impact Statement


Accomplishments: Opening the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center, an innovative model focused on proactive rather than reactive programs and services designed to help seniors age the way they want – with dignity, respect, fun, independence and good health. It has received significant national attention for the unique offerings and Senior Community Centers’ ability to leverage partnerships (about 25) to enhance service delivery.  

One of those partnerships is with SDSU’s College of Health and Human Services which provides seniors with increased access to health and social work assistance while introducing student interns to the field of geriatrics in a “learning laboratory” environment unlike any other experienced during their studies. Faculty members are on site to guide the students and to conduct research projects. 

The agency’s President/CEO, Paul Downey is president of the Washington DC based National Association of Nutrition and Aging Service Programs (NANASP) – the advocacy leader in national aging policy issues. Downey is a Steering Committee member for the California Elder Index which determines “income adequacy” for seniors’ basic needs such as food, shelter and healthcare. The data shows that about half of seniors in the state lack the money for basic needs.  

Priorities: Build diverse revenue streams to sustain and grow programs that meet demands of an exploding senior population. These include fundraising, social ventures, increased federal funding for seniors, investments, and generating more revenue from services currently provided. Complete the framework for an evaluation model that will demonstrate the impact of services and help with building the case for additional grants funding.  Increasing advocacy efforts at all levels – nationally, statewide, and locally – is of the utmost importance, particularly as it relates to reauthorization of the Older Americans Act, a critical piece of legislation affecting all seniors. 

Needs Statement

The following are Senior Community Centers’ most pressing needs:

1.      Funding for our meals program. The link between nutrition and healthy aging is well documented. Investing in our nutrition program helps decrease ER visits, hospitalizations, days in the hospital if admitted and can delay or eliminate the need for long-term care such as nursing facilities. 
2.      Funds for our Health Services program. These critical services include a nurse, geriatric care coordinator and mental health specialist.
3.      Funding for the Supportive Services Program. Case Managers help seniors remove the barriers that prevent them remaining healthy and independent.
4.      Funding to support the Lifelong Learning program. This innovative program helps seniors maximize their potential by providing meaningful volunteer opportunities and the chance to learn new skills. It builds self-esteem and debunks the stereotype that seniors, regardless of their age, have nothing left to contribute to the community.  
5.      Secure the future of the organization in order to meet the increasing demographic and economic needs of low-income seniors in San Diego by building a robust endowment through planned giving and endowed funds.
Service Categories
Senior Centers/Services
Areas of Service
Areas Served
In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
CA - San Diego Central
CA - San Diego East County
CA - San Diego South County

Senior Community Centers has served seniors living in Downtown San Diego’s urban core for over 40 years. Low-income seniors reside throughout the County, and as smaller meals providers have closed their doors, SCC has expanded its reach into Chula Vista, National City, San Ysidro, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley, Mira Mesa, and City Heights. Senior Community Centers is the County of San Diego’s largest provider of senior meals and will continue to expand to meet the need as long as funding is available.

Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Under Development
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Is your organization a member of Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD)? No
Sharp HealthCare
Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital
SDSU College of Health and Human Services
Consumer Center for Health Education and Advocacy (CCHEA)
Union of Pan Asian Communities (UPAC)
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the Government?
Board Chair
Board Chair Michelle Sterling
Company Affiliation Qualcomm
Term July 2014 to June 2015
Board Members
Molly Cartmill Sempra EnergyVoting
Martha Guy Law Offices of Martha K. GuyVoting
Gwenmarie Hilleary Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial CountiesVoting
Dale Isaacs Voting
Sydney Johnson Voting
Sandra Lawhon S&L FinancialVoting
Carole Lindsey
Lowell Potiker
Paul Sanit Voting
Jerry Schneider Business Consultant and PhilanthropistVoting
Sam Sherman Higgs Fletcher & Mack LLPVoting
Greg Starmack Voting
Michelle Sterling Qualcomm, Inc.Voting
Raymond Wright Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & SavitchVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 16
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 7
Female 9
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 70%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 75%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 10
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mr. Paul Downey
Term Start May 1995
Compensation 231616

Paul Downey became President/CEO of Serving Seniors (formerly Senior Community Centers) in 1995 and has guided the agency’s innovative efforts to provide supportive services focused on keeping low-income seniors healthy and independent. Nutritious meals (breakfast and lunch) are provided 365 days per year to over 2,100 seniors at 10 sites in San Diego County. 


Serving Seniors’ flagship facility, the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center, provides case management, healthcare utilizing the latest in wireless technology, mental healthcare, life-long learning and civic engagement for the seniors. It is already considered a national model for the comprehensive provision of supportive services for seniors in poverty.      


Paul has been a leader in the fight to provide affordable housing for seniors. He opened a 200-unit, low-income, senior housing complex called Potiker Family Senior Residence in downtown San Diego in August of 2003. He opened a second project, a 150-unit affordable housing complex for seniors in City Heights, in August 2007. The agency also operates transitional housing for homeless seniors.


He is the immediate past-President of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP) based in Washington DC and a Steering Committee Member for the California Elder Economic Standard Initiative. In August 2012, Paul was appointed to the California Commission on Aging by Assembly then-Speaker John A. Pérez. Diane Jacob, Chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, appointed Paul in September 2013 to the County’s Social Services Advisory Board.   He is past chair of the City of San Diego’s Senior Affairs Advisory Board and past chair of the Dean’s Advisory Committee for the College of Health and Human Services at San Diego State University.

He is a graduate of San Diego State University with a degree in journalism. In July 2010, he completed a certificate program in Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management from Harvard Business School.


Senior Staff
Title LCSW, Chief Operating Officer
Title RN, Vice President of Programs and Services
Title Vice President of Operations
Title Vice President of Finance and Accounting
Title Vice President of Development
Title Vice President of Business Strategy
Experience/Biography  Melinda manages all business models and program evaluation to drive business performance throughout the organization. She analyzes outcomes of various programs for operational and program planning and works with each department to improve business processes and increase efficiency. Melinda also oversees all of the IT, data and technological projects within the organization.
Full Time Staff 64
Part Time Staff 15
Volunteers 300
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 85%
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start July 01 2013
Fiscal Year End June 30 2014
Projected Revenue $5,934,900.00
Projected Expenses $5,934,900.00
Endowment Value $752,179.00
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage (if selected) 5%
IRS Letter of Exemption
IRS Letter of Determination of Tax Exempt Status
Form 990s
Detail Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201320122011
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$2,848,597$2,721,821$3,586,714
Individual Contributions$2,552,752$2,814,277$1,237,916
Investment Income, Net of Losses$311,642$299,847$594,511
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$101,909$0$0
Revenue In-Kind$0$77,040$83,158
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201320122011
Program Expense$4,451,203$4,721,356$5,093,207
Administration Expense$980,164$692,365$699,529
Fundraising Expense$474,675$385,185$262,726
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.081.100.97
Program Expense/Total Expenses75%81%84%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue9%7%5%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201320122011
Total Assets$21,877,996$22,563,720$30,988,649
Current Assets$18,517,981$2,090,605$2,682,173
Long-Term Liabilities$4,530,574$5,729,313$12,265,996
Current Liabilities$540,735$588,604$711,881
Total Net Assets$16,806,687$16,245,803$18,010,772
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities34.253.553.77
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets21%25%40%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201320122011
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Goal $1,500,000.00
Foundation Comments
This organization's summary financial data is based on the audited financials provided.
2012 is based on the 990
Nonprofit Senior Community Centers of San Diego
Address 525 14th Street
Suite 200
San Diego, CA 921017556
Primary Phone 619 235-6572
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Paul Downey
Board Chair Michelle Sterling
Board Chair Company Affiliation Qualcomm
Year of Incorporation 1973


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