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Study: Thousands of Marin seniors among state’s hidden poor

Study: Thousands of Marin seniors among state’s hidden poor

Whistlestop pantry volunteer Josefina Perez helps a client Thursday at the center’s Brown Bag Pantry in San Rafael. The program helps provide low-income Marin seniors with nutritional food. (Alan Dep/Marin Independent Journal)


By Richard Halstead, Marin Independent Journal

More than three-quarters of a million California seniors, including more than 7,700 older Marin residents, are among the nation’s hidden poor, according to a new study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. Read More…


Study: Thousands of Marin seniors among state’s hidden poor

A Whistlestop client selects fruit at the Brown Bag Pantry in San Rafael. The nonprofit operates the food program at senior centers and homes around Marin. (Alan Dep/Marin Independent Journal)

MCF grants $1 million for seniors

MCF grants $1 million for seniorsTuesday, May 3, 2011 – Pacific Sun

by Jason Walsh

In an effort to target lower income older adults, the Marin Community Foundation has approved $1 million in grants to 17 Marin nonprofits that fit into the foundation’s focus on “successful aging.”

The grants are intended to bolster such offerings as employment services, food delivery and community center programs. San Rafael’s Whistlestop, for instance, received $200,000, according to MCF, for its sponsorship of computer and art classes, English language education and exercise programs. Ten projects receiving grants will put the funds toward volunteer opportunities for older adults—such as Audubon Canyon Ranch and the Novato Historical Guild.

Foundation president Thomas Peters said programs that offer multiple benefits—such as those that promote volunteerism– were specifically given consideration for grant monies. “They reduce the risk of social isolation, they improve the volunteers’ quality of life and they are of tremendous value to the agencies themselves, given the budgeting challenges they face.”

MCF grants $1 million for seniorsMartes, 3 de mayo 2011 – Pacific Sun

por Jason Walsh

En un esfuerzo por ayudar a adultos mayores de bajos ingresos, Marin Community Foundation ha aprobado $ 1 millón en donaciones a 17 organizaciones no lucrativas de Marín que encajan en el enfoque de la fundación de “envejecimiento exitoso”.

Las subvenciones están destinadas a reforzar la oferta, tales como los servicios de empleo, la entrega de alimentos y programas de centros comunitarios. Whistlestop San Rafael, por ejemplo, recibió $ 200.000, de acuerdo con CCM, por su patrocinio de las clases de computación y el arte, la enseñanza de idiomas Inglés y programas de ejercicios. Diez proyectos que reciben subvenciones pondrá los fondos hacia las oportunidades de voluntariado para los adultos mayores, como la Audubon Canyon Ranch y el Gremio de Novato Histórico.

Presidente de la Fundación Thomas Peters dijo que los programas que ofrecen múltiples beneficios, tales como las que promueven el voluntariado – se dieron cuenta en particular de los fondos de subvención. “Reducen el riesgo de aislamiento social, que mejoran la calidad de los voluntarios de la vida y son de un enorme valor a los propios organismos, dado el presupuesto desafíos que enfrentan.”

Best Places to Work 2015

Whistlestop (Marin Senior Coordinating Council)

We just heard the good news! For the second year in a row, Whistlestop has been named one of the North Bay Business Journal’s Best Places to Work. Whistlestop is honored and humbled to receive this accolade for 2015.

By Gary Quackenbush, Special to the Business Journal

Best Places to Work 2015SAN RAFAEL — Whistlestop promotes active and independent lives for Marin County’s older adults, and people with disabilities and health challenges, by providing transportation to appointments and programs at extremely low cost.

“I’m filled with gratitude every day when I see the dedication, commitment and compassion our employees give to our clients,” said CEO Joe O’Hehir.

“Each team member enjoys his or her job, which is focused on ensuring that every adult in Marin has the opportunity to age with dignity, independence and grace. Thanks to our devoted employees, Whistlestop has become the surrogate family for thousands of older adults who face loneliness and isolation.”

An employee said, “Everyone is genuinely concerned about each others’ welfare and happiness. I was sick last week and my boss dropped off Gatorade at my house so I didn’t have to leave home!”

Another worker added, “Our friends and family members are always welcome to visit and eat at the Jackson Café, our on-site restaurant, where employees receive a discount. I can also bring my four-legged family member to work, which is a huge benefit.”

The company encourages and supports employee development and regularly promotes from within.

“We have a good team, and everyone is a team player. Management and staff are very polite — it’s hard to find a wonderful place like this.”

Reprinted from the Northbaybusinessjournal.com

Dining review: New chef draws young fans to Jackson Café

Dining review: New chef draws young fans to Jackson Café

IJ photo/Robert Tong

1/4/2012 – Marin Independent Journal

You’ve driven by it 100 times. A thousand. And you probably never noticed it. Whistlestop’s Jackson Café, adjacent to the Marin Transit Center in San Rafael, one of the many services offered by a 57-year-old organization that promotes independent living and well-being among the county’s seniors and people with disabilities.

Because you never noticed it, you never thought to eat there, right? Adjust your lunchtime routine, and put your automobile in park at 930 Tamalpais.

Here’s why; the food is good and the daily menu of classic, continental American fare — think pork with mustard sauce, spaghetti Bolognese and chicken chow mein — is a steal at roughly $4.50, $7.25 if you were born after 1952, (yes, there is a price break once you grace the age of 60) for an entrée that includes a protein, one or two vegetables and a starch. Added bonus — the people who prep and cook at Jackson Café are either enrolled in are or graduates of Homeward Bound’s Fresh Start Culinary Academy of Marin, which helps local homeless transition back to work. That’s right, it is akin to eating at the Culinary Institute of America as the students provide many of the menu ideas.

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Whistlestop Files Pared Back Plan for Downtown Housing Complex-July 12, 2015

Whistlestop Files Pared Back Plan for Downtown Housing Complex-July 12, 2015
By Stephanie Weldy, Marin Independent Journal

After a public “listening period,” the Whistlestop senior center has formally submitted to the city of San Rafael revised plans for a five-story affordable housing complex and service center at the site of its downtown depot headquarters.

City planning officials and some community members had expressed concerns earlier this year about Whistlestop’s original design proposal, saying it was too massive, its contemporary motif didn’t meld with San Rafael’s design style and that it posed parking issues. Read more…

Whistlestop Announces New Staff Member

 Whistlestop Announces New Staff Member11/16/2010 – San Rafael Patch by Clara Franco

Whistlestop, the non-profit organization that provides vital services to Marin County’s older adults and individuals with disabilities, is pleased to announce Skip Corsini as their new Business Development Manager. Skip will be in charge of developing alternative revenue streams for the organization by presenting a range of business to business services. https://whistlestop.org/

”We feel we are adding Skip to the team at a very good stage in our organization’s development,” says Whistlestop’s Development and Marketing Director, Yvonne Roberts. “We have greater capacity to serve the community than ever and we plan to take full advantage of that.” 

View Full StoryWhistlestop Announces New Staff MemberWhistlestop, la organización sin ánimo de lucro que brinda servicios vitales a los adultos mayores del condado de Marin y las personas con discapacidad, se complace en anunciar Skip Corsini como su nuevo Gerente de Desarrollo de Negocios. Ir estará a cargo de desarrollar otras fuentes de ingresos para la organización mediante la presentación de una serie de actividades a otros servicios de negocios. https://whistlestop.org/

“Sentimos que estamos añadiendo Saltar al equipo en una etapa muy buena en el desarrollo de nuestra organización”, dice el Desarrollo Whistlestop y Director de Marketing, Yvonne Roberts. “Tenemos mayor capacidad para servir a la comunidad que nunca y tenemos la intención de sacar el máximo provecho de eso”.

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Sequester of federal funds would squeeze Marin programsSequester of federal funds would squeeze Marin programs

<!--:en-->Sequester of federal funds would squeeze Marin programs<!--:--><!--:ES-->Sequester of federal funds would squeeze Marin programs<!--:-->Meals for seniors and funding for school districts, parks, low-income housing and employment assistance would be squeezed in Marin if across-the-board federal budget cuts are implemented as expected this week due to the budget impasse in Washington, D.C.

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7,400 Reasons Why I Love My Job

7,400 Reasons Why I Love My JobSubmitted by Joe O’Hehir, CEO Whistlestop

When it comes to seniors aging in Marin, it is important to support activities and events that allow older adults to thrive during the later stages of their lives. When it comes to loving my job, I always find listening to seniors’ stories is both inspiring and encouraging. i am completing my seventh year as CEO for Whistlestop, and like our members, I too am thriving and loving my job.

What’s not to love? I get to work with an incredible staff of over 175 dedicated people who day in and day out provide valuable human needs and services to Marin’s older adults and individuals with disabilities. Whether someone needs a rids, a meal, social connection, or in formation and assistance, our caring staff is there for them. I admire our staff’s patience and compassion for each and every member we serve; they are all truly inspirational. I’m fortunate to be able to call them my co-workers.

Whistlestop is blessed to have over 1990 active volunteers who support our efforts to ensure that every adult in Marin has the opportunity to age with dignity, independence, and grace.

The majority of our volunteers are themselves older adults helping their fellow older adults thrive in our community. Whether it is serving a lunch at Jackson CAfe, delivering meals to home-bound individuals, driving someone to their doctor’s appointment, handing out food at our brown bag pantry, teaching a class, leading a group activity, or manning the Information and Assistance desk, Whistlestop’s volunteers are always there for our clients with a helping hand and a smile on their face. We would not be able to help the 7,500 members we serve without the over 16,000 donated volunteer hours from this very special group of individuals.

One of the best things I love about my job is having the opportunity to personally thank the thousands of donors who support Whistlestop’s mission.

The ranks of Whistlestop donors have grown significantly during the past five years. Without the generous financial support from the community we would not be able to manage the growth in demand for Whistlestop’s services. An increasing number of older adults are able to thrive in our community thanks to the generosity and support of our donors.

Most importantly, I love my job because I get to interact with some amazing and inspirational older adults who are Whistlestop participants. When I’m having a particularly challenging day at the office, I can walk around our Active Aging Center and experience the thriving environment.

I may observe a lively Zumba class and feel the energy. Then I’ll drop by the computer lab and watch a young adult helping an older adult learn how to use an iPad. I also Like to eaves drop on one of our many multicultural group activities and listen to the many languages spoken. There is laughter and engagement throughout the center and it is invigorating.

Love my job? You bet I do. I can count 7,400 reasons every day.

$1 million foundation grant program benefits Marin seniors

$1 million foundation grant program benefits Marin seniors5/3/2011 – Marin Independent Journal

At the Marin Center for Independent Living in San Rafael, an expanded registry will put elderly disabled residents in touch with carefully screened, moderately priced caregivers.

Programs at LifeLong Medical Care in Novato and Senior Access in Terra Linda will provide day-care services and therapies for low-income elderly adults with dementia and other debilitating conditions — and allow rare respites for family members who otherwise are round-the-clock caregivers.

And at Whistlestop Wheels in San Rafael, a host of programs that cater to the elderly will provide Marin seniors a place to socialize, a variety of things to do and hot meals to enjoy.

The four nonprofit agencies and 13 others serving senior citizens got a big helping hand from the Marin Community Foundation on Tuesday as it announced $1 million in grants aimed at boosting the county’s most vulnerable population — its poor, older adults.

Officials said the grants were made under the foundation’s “strategic focus on successful aging,” and are intended to provide the elderly with food, employment, social, educational and therapeutic services, allowing them to remain in the community while giving their family caregivers a rest as well.

The largest grants, $200,000 each, went to West Marin Senior Services and Whistlestop Wheels, where Marin’s growing senior population benefits from an array of services.

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$1 million foundation grant program benefits Marin seniorsDiario Independiente de Marin – 03/05/2011

En el Centro de Vida Independiente de Marin en San Rafael, un registro ampliado pondrá ancianos residentes discapacitados en contacto con los seleccionados cuidadosamente, los cuidadores de precios moderados.

Programas de Cuidado médico de por vida en Novato y el acceso principal en Terra Linda prestación de servicios de atención diurna y terapias para adultos de bajos ingresos, ancianos con demencia y otras condiciones debilitantes – y permitir respiros raro que los miembros de la familia que de otra manera son los médicos durante todo el día-.

Y en Whistlestop en San Rafael, una serie de programas que provee una serie de programas diseñados para adultos mayores, ofrecerá a estas personas un lugar para socializar, una variedad de actividades y comidas para disfrutar.

Las cuatro agencias sin fines de lucro y otras 13 personas de la tercera edad se sirve una gran mano de ayuda a la Fundación Comunitaria de Marin el martes, cuando anunció $ 1 millón en subvenciones destinadas a impulsar la población más vulnerable del condado – la pobreza de adultos mayores.

Las autoridades dijeron que las donaciones se realizaron en la fundación “enfoque estratégico sobre el envejecimiento exitoso”, y tienen por objeto proporcionar a los ancianos con los alimentos, empleo, servicios sociales, educativos y terapéuticos, lo que les permite permanecer en la comunidad al tiempo que sus familiares cuidadores un descanso también.

El más grande de las subvenciones, 200.000 dólares cada uno, fue a West Marin Servicios para Personas Mayores y las ruedas Whistlestop, donde el cultivo de Marin beneficios población mayor de una amplia gama de servicios.

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Whistlestop Renews Marin Transit Board Contract

Whistlestop Renews Marin Transit Board ContractWhistlestop CEO Joe O’Hehir shared great news with all of us who work at this great organization. The Marin Transit Board awarded Whistlestop a new contract for the operations and maintenance of Marin Access Paratransit Services effective January 1, 2016 through June 30, 2022. “You should all be proud of the work you do every day to help Marin’s older adults and individuals with disabilities get around and stay connected to the community.” Joe said. “It’s not just our mission, it’s also our responsibility.” Special needs Transportation services have been at the very core of Whistlestop’s community-based programs and services since the organization’s inception in 1954. Congratulations to all!

Marin Voice: The best thing about being retired

Marin Voice: The best thing about being retired1/6/2012 – Marin Independent Journal

WHEN anyone asks me what is the best thing about being retired I tell them, “Tutoring second-graders at Sun Valley Elementary School in San Rafael.”

And what makes tutoring the best part of my retirement free time?

“Everything!”

I started tutoring at Sun Valley in September 2010, about one year after I retired.

My wife is active in Driftwood, a group that supports Whistlestop, the great organization that helps seniors throughout Marin.

An article in Whistlestop’s monthly newsletter, “Got A Little Love in Your Heart?,” caught my attention, and I contacted Experience Corps, the organization mentioned in the newsletter article.

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Whistlestop Submits Plans to City-July 15, 2015

Whistlestop Submits Plans to City-July 15, 2015

Contact Derek Wilson at dwilson@marinscope.com.

San Rafael is getting its first look at what could be an active hub for senior residents and officials say the initial reaction has been positive.

Whistlestop and Eden Housing representatives filed a formal application for the new Mission Plaza project with the City of San Rafael on July 9. The goal of the project is to create a new, larger Whistlestop center, including 41 senior apartments, on the site of the current Whistlestop building on Tamalpais Avenue, between Third and Fourth streets. Read more…

New Whistlestop program will aid senior travel in Marin

New Whistlestop program will aid senior travel in Marin2/12/2011 – Marin Independent Journal

A San Rafael-based group that helps provide transportation for the elderly and people with disabilities will begin a new program Tuesday that utilizes friends and neighbors.

Whistlestop Wheels’ new “Volunteer Driver” program is aimed at adults 60 and older who are in need of rides, live in Marin County and are unable to use a shared ride service, but who could use a friend, neighbor, acquaintance or caregiver to be their driver.

Those who volunteer to drive will be reimbursed at the rate of 30 cents a mile under the one-year pilot program. Initially the trips will be targeted for medical and shopping excursions within a 30-mile radius.

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New Whistlestop program will aid senior travel in Marin2/12/2011 – Marin Independent Journal

Un grupo de San Rafael, que ayuda a proporcionar el transporte para los ancianos y las personas con discapacidad se iniciará un nuevo programa del martes, que utiliza los amigos y vecinos.

Ruedas Whistlestop “nuevo” conductor voluntario “programa está dirigido a los adultos mayores de 60 años que necesitan de paseos, viven en el condado de Marin y son incapaces de utilizar un servicio de viaje compartido, pero que podría utilizar un amigo, vecino, conocido o cuidador ser su conductor.

Los voluntarios de la unidad serán reembolsados ​​a razón de 30 centavos por milla en el programa piloto de un año. Inicialmente, los viajes serán objeto de excursiones médicas y compras dentro de un radio de 30 millas.

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WHISTLESTOP GETS SUPPORT FROM BANK OF MARINWHISTLESTOP GETS SUPPORT FROM BANK OF MARIN

<!--:en-->WHISTLESTOP GETS SUPPORT FROM BANK OF MARIN<!--:--><!--:ES-->WHISTLESTOP GETS SUPPORT FROM BANK OF MARIN<!--:-->San Rafael, CA (March 2013) — Two well-known local organizations, Bank of Marin and Whistlestop, have enjoyed more than a decade of collaboration and community partnership together. Whistlestop’s increasingly popular Jackson Café was named in honor of H.C. Jackson, one of the founders and past Board Directors of Bank of Marin. H.C. and Beverley Jackson made several generous gifts to Whistlestop to support access to proper nutrition for older adults in Marin. The Bank of Marin made a gift earlier this year to help upgrade the Café’s aging kitchen equipment. Whistlestop volunteers cheerily serve fresh and affordable lunches for about 100 diners a day. The restaurant is open to everyone, and you can be assured, everyone will feel more than welcome.

About Whistlestop
Since 1954 Whistlestop has been helping the Marin County’s older adults stay independent and active by avoiding social isolation. Whistlestop is best known for providing specialized transportation for people with disabilities. Their fleet of over 55 specialized buses run seven days a week from early morning to late night, offering over 150,000 rides yearly throughout Marin and surrounding counties.

In addition, Whistlestop’s Active Aging Center, located in downtown San Rafael, provides socialization for older adults through participant-centered services and activities. These include educational classes, exercise classes, and multicultural groups for Spanish, German, and Farsi-speaking older adults. Invaluable services like citizenship assistance, translation, ESL, tax preparation, and legal advice are offered as part of Whistlestop’s ongoing mission.

Whistlestop’s Jackson Café, located at the Active Aging Center, serves fresh, delicious and affordable lunchtime meals, Monday through Friday to diners of all ages. The Café features daily specials, deli sandwiches, soups, desserts, and fresh salads. The Jackson Café offers a comfortable setting where everyone is welcome.

Whistlestop Meal on Wheels delivers fresh meals to homebound older adults throughout much of Marin. Their dedicated drivers check in on the meal recipients several times per week and will deliver 71,000 meals this year.

My very rewarding job at Whistlestop

My very rewarding job at WhistlestopBy Erika Vaughn Aging in Marin

I finally have a job I truly love, a role that allows me to come into work with a smile on my face and in my heart. As Whistlestop’s Meals on Wheels Supervisor, I get to see first-hand how welcome our meals are and the good our drivers do when they make deliveries to recipients who are isolated and homebound.

I recall one delivery that epitomizes the value of Meals on Wheels. I grew very close to a lady who stole my heart. One day when I arrived to deliver a meal to this particular 87-year-old, I saw paramedics. I ran inside her house and saw her strapped on a stretcher, ready to be rolled out. When she saw me her eyes lit up and she said, ‘I’ve been waiting for you.’ I hoped she was going to be okay. The Emergency Medical Technicians said she insisted on waiting for “her second daughter” who worked for Meals on Wheels, which was me! Read More…

Census: Marin growing old fast

Census: Marin growing old fast

Credit Alan Dep

05/12/2011 – Marin Independent Journal

By Nels Johnson

The first wave of Marin County’s baby boomer “silver tsunami” is beginning to cash Social Security checks, and a bigger surge of senior citizens is just a few years behind, new census data indicate.

Statistics released Thursday summarizing data collected during the 2010 census put the median age in Marin County at 44.5 years, highest in the Bay Area and nine years older than the state average of 35.2. The oldest population in California is in rural Trinity County, where the median age is 49.3 years.

Ten years ago, Marin’s median age was 41.3 years, while the state’s was 33.3, so Marin’s population is aging more than one-and-a-half times as fast as that of the rest of the state.

“Marin County is really on the cutting edge of the aging population we’ll see in the state,” said Hans Johnson, a demographer and senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California. “And over the next 10 years in Marin, especially, is when you’re going to see big increases in the senior citizen population.”

Some 53,579 Marin residents, or 21.2 percent of the county’s 252,409 population, were age 62 or older, and 42,192 residents, or 16.7 percent of the population, were 65 or more years old.

The census reported that some 21,084 residents, or 8.4 percent, were 50 to 54 years old; 40,088 Marin residents, or 15.9 percent, were ages 55 to 64, and 14,037, or 5.6 percent, were 64 to 69. A total 18,981 residents, or 7.5 percent, were 75 years old or older.

The census also reported 13,932 children under age 5; 15,481 from 5 to 9 years old; 14,241 age 10 to 14, and 12,798 from 15 to 19 years old.

Belvedere, with a median age of 54, checked in as Marin’s grayest city, with Sausalito not far behind at 51.1 years, and Tiburon at 48. San Rafael, which posted a median age of 40.2 years, ranked as Marin’s youngest.

Marin population statistics provide policy makers with a planning road map, as public and private agencies increasingly cater to the needs of seniors for health care, housing, transit, social and related services as the population “ages in place.”

“Lots of seniors can’t drive at night,” Johnson said. “They need transit” and living quarters close to shopping and related services, he noted.

Census: Marin growing old fast

Credit Alan Dep

05/12/2011 – Marin Independant Journal

Por Nels Johnson

La primera ola de “tsunami de plata” del condado de Marin, baby boomers está empezando a cobrar cheques del Seguro Social, y un aumento mayor de los ciudadanos adultos mayores está a solo unos pocos años, indican los nuevos datos del censo.

Estadísticas dadas a conocer datos del jueves que resume recogida durante el censo de 2010 indica que la edad mediana en el condado de Marin en 44,5 años, el más alto en el área de la bahía y nueve años más que el promedio estatal de 35.2. La más antigua población de California está en el condado rural de Trinidad, donde la edad media es de 49,3 años.

Hace diez años, la edad mediana de Marín fue de 41.3 años, mientras que el estado fue de 33.3, por lo que la población está envejeciendo Marín veces más de una vez y media más rápido que el del resto del estado.

“Condado de Marin es realmente a la vanguardia del envejecimiento de la población vamos a ver en el estado”, dijo Hans Johnson, demógrafo y miembro senior del Instituto de Política Pública de California. “Y en los próximos 10 años en Marín, sobre todo, es cuando se van a ver grandes aumentos en la población de la tercera edad.”

Unos 53.579 residentes de Marin, o 21,2 por ciento de los 252.409 de la población del condado, fueron 62 años de edad o más, y 42.192 residentes, o 16,7 por ciento de la población, son 65 o más años de edad.

El censo reportó que algunos residentes de 21.084, o 8,4 por ciento, tenían entre 50 y 54 años; 40.088 residentes Marín, o 15,9 por ciento, fueron las edades de 55 a 64, y 14.037, o 5,6 por ciento, fueron de 64 a 69. Un total de 18.981 habitantes, o 7,5 por ciento, tenían 75 años o más.

El censo también ha reportado 13.932 niños menores de 5 años; 15.481 5 a 9 años de edad, 14.241 de 10 a 14, y el viejo 12,798 15 a 19 años.

Belvedere, con una mediana de edad de 54 años, marcada en lo más gris de la ciudad de Marin, en Sausalito no se queda atrás en 51,1 años, y Tiburón a las 48. San Rafael, que registró una media de edad de 40,2 años, clasificado como el más joven de Marín.

Estadísticas de Marin población proporcionar a los responsables de políticas con una hoja de ruta de planificación, como los organismos públicos y privados cada vez más atender a las necesidades de los adultos mayores para el cuidado de la salud, vivienda, transporte, servicios sociales y afines, como la población “envejece en su lugar.”

“Muchas personas mayores no pueden conducir por la noche”, dijo Johnson. “Ellos necesitan de tránsito” y de vida de cerca de tiendas y servicios relacionados, señaló.

Whistlestop treats change as opportunity-January 22, 2015

Whistlestop treats change as opportunity-January 22, 2015
By Derek Wilson
Whistlestop is planning a face lift with the hope of better serving Marin County’s aging population, but initial reviews are mixed after the community was invited to examine designs for the nonprofit’s new downtown facility.

The initial proposal is much taller than the current building. The new building would have five floors, with the ground floor occupied by the lobby and Jackson Café. Plans for the second floor offer space for activities, classes and counseling. Eden Housing would operate 47 low-income senior housing units on the top three floors.

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Whistlestop files legal claim against SMART over San Rafael station

Whistlestop files legal claim against SMART over San Rafael station

IJ photo/Robert Tong

1/30/2012 – Marin Independent Journal

Whistlestop has filed a legal claim against the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District over concerns the planned commuter train will force the San Rafael nonprofit out of its building with no cash for an alternative site.

The claim estimates damages at more than $2 million and predicts construction and operation of the downtown San Rafael SMART station “will have disastrous impacts on Whistlestop’s ability to provide its desperately needed services to the elderly and disabled.” SMART officials have called the claim “baseless.”

The nonprofit Whistlestop bought the 15,000-square-foot former Northwestern Pacific Railroad depot at 930 Tamalpais Ave. in 1971 and owns the building outright, allowing the organization to devote most of its $5.5 million annual budget to transportation, programs and classes for Marin’s senior citizens and people with disabilities, CEO Joe O’Hehir said.

“The challenge I’m having is our working capital,” O’Hehir said. “It’s tied up in this building. … What really we need to know is the status of the building. Is SMART going to buy it? If not, what are we going to do?”

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Whistlestop addresses an important need-July 15, 2015

Whistlestop addresses an important need-July 15, 2015

I have been volunteering at Whistlestop for over two years. I deliver food for the Meals on Wheels program and also distribute food for its Brown Bag program.

I’ve had a firsthand view of the needs of many of the seniors in Marin County.

Not only do I support Whistlestop and its plans to redevelop its building at the existing location, this project is helping making a better future for our seniors, their families and those that will soon become senior citizens.

I truly hope the local elected officials see the benefits this project will bring to downtown San Rafael and surrounding communities.

Marin is facing some serious issues when it comes to providing housing that is affordable, in a great location and available.

For the sake of future generations, I hope our local officials will support organizations that are trying to address some of our most serious issues — now.

— Phil Dito, Greenbrae

SMART’s Design Confronts Parking Problems

SMART's Design Confronts Parking Problems2/12/2011 – Mill Valley Patch by Nicole Ely

As the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) agency prepares for construction of a downtown San Rafael station, Whistlestop, the 57-year-old senior center on Tamalpais Ave., will have to relocate due to lack of parking.

The downtown San Rafael station will include a two-platform design with the southbound platform about eight feet from Tamalpais Avenue, leaving no space for street parking, which is essential for Whistlestop clientele.

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SMART's Design Confronts Parking Problems2/12/2011 – Mill Valley Patch por Nicole Ely

A medida que el área de Sonoma Marin Rail Transit (SMART) la agencia se prepara para la construcción de un centro de San Rafael estación, Whistlestop, el centro para personas mayores de 57 años de edad, en Tamalpais Avenue., Tendrá que mudarse debido a la falta de estacionamiento.

El centro de San Rafael estación incluye un diseño de dos plataforma con la plataforma hacia el sur cerca de ocho pies de Tamalpais Avenue, sin dejar espacio para aparcamiento en la calle, que es esencial para la clientela Whistlestop.

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