While Welcoming Week was officially celebrated for 10 days this month, Sept. 9-18, we celebrate it all year long in Oakland County. Welcoming Oakland is an official county member of the Welcoming America network that brings together communities to reaffirm the importance of promoting inclusivity and celebrating the vast array of cultures that make our neighborhoods and towns so vibrant and exciting.
The theme of this year’s Welcoming Week celebration was #WhereWeBelong. All individuals throughout the county should understand that there is a place for them here.
In the last year or so, that’s been especially true for people fleeing the wars in Afghanistan and Ukraine. Through the Uniting for Ukraine initiative, more than 630 Oakland County residents have stepped up to sponsor and financially support families who have left Ukraine because of the war.
But Welcoming Week is about more than just helping resettle refugees. There are services, people, and organizations across Oakland County that are helping newcomers when they arrive in the state.
Oakland County provides many services to help our rapidly growing older adult community and those who care for them. While National Senior Citizens Day is on August 21 each year, we want to celebrate older adults all month and highlight resources that are available to them year round.
Additional resources and services are available within the county to help our community of older adults. Find a full list of services below to take advantage of:
Older Adult Services from Oakland County
Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center
C.A.T.S. (Companion Animals Touching Seniors) offers older adults the opportunity to foster a cat. The program lasts two months, in which the Oakland County Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center provides all the necessary supplies to care for the cat. When the foster period ends, the older adult has the chance to adopt the cat. The only fee they are asked to cover is for the license. For more information, contact Oakland County Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center at 248-858-1070 or email email@example.com.
The Oakland County Health Division offers a guide for older adults who are looking for information about aging well. Many resources are available for housing, health, medical, legal issues, and local services as well as other valuable information. Additional services the Health Division provides:
The Senior Market FRESH program is aimed at helping older adults eat healthier. Senior Market FRESH gives coupon vouchers to eligible older adults to get Michigan-grown fruit, vegetables, herbs, spices and honey from farmers markets.
Mark your calendars for the upcoming Senior Market Days:
The county’s Neighborhood Housing and Development Division offers reverse mortgages for those aged 62 or older. Housing Counselors can explain the program to you so you can make an informed decision on whether it is the right product for your household. They can also provide the necessary certificate to be able to apply for a reverse mortgage. Call to speak with an advisor: 248-858-5402.
Photos courtesy of Oakland County Parks and Recreation
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard’s 911 Emergency Senior Cell Phone Program is designed to equip seniors with a mobile means of contacting help in the event of an emergency. The cell phones are available to any Oakland County Senior Citizens free of charge. There is no monthly service fee to use the phone for emergency use.
“Our goal here is to reach any Oakland County resident struggling with food insecurity. We don’t want our families to scrimp on other essentials, like rent or utilities or medicines, so they can make sure they don’t go hungry.”
-Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter
The county is also allocating $250,000 to the Double Up Food Bucks program, which doubles the money for fresh produce at farmers markets for people eligible for food assistance.
60 is the new 50. Maybe it’s that 80 is the new 70. Either way, ideas about gray-haired people spending their days in rocking chairs are on the way out, and older adults are earning a new reputation as active and involved community members.
Oakland County is home to thousands of lakes and rivers our residents use for boating and paddling, fishing, and hunting. These outdoor activities can unintentionally disperse aquatic invasive species (AIS); non-native plants, animals, and other organisms that can harm our local economy, environment and even our health.
The CD3 Pilot Program utilizes mobile boat cleaning stations to empower local water enthusiasts to better protect Oakland County waterways. These stations help users to clean, drain and dry their watercraft, and to dispose of any living organisms (plant or animal) that may be clinging to the crafts. With support from Oakland County Parks and Recreation, the pilot program ran for the final weeks of the 2020 boating season, throughout the 2021 season, and just launched for the 2022 season.