Building Community. Supporting Independence.
The Gulfport Multipurpose Senior Center (the Senior Center) actively seeks to support the independence and increased quality of life of its participants by encouraging involvement in programs and activities that promote their health, welfare, safety, and dignity.
We are Gulfport’s trusted leader in providing senior services that empower older adults to live life to the fullest.
Greater Independence, Increased Quality of Life.
Now, in conjunction with the City of Gulfport, the Gulfport Multipurpose Senior Center is making plans to construct a new, larger and more senior-focused Center.
The Senior Center is a hub and gathering place for community. We offer multiple and varied programs and activities that address all six dimensions of wellness:
Not only do the programs and resources we provide support greater independence and increased quality of life for seniors, but the work we accomplish at Senior Center adds value to the community by ensuring that Gulfport is recognized as a truly caring and competent community.
While the City of Gulfport is committed to financially providing basic maintenance for the building, this project will require private philanthropy from generous donors who understand the value of the Senior Center to the whole community. Private gifts will support the building’s construction and furnishings, as well as an endowment to ensure the quality and timeliness of maintenance and upgrades long term.
The current building’s lack of space and non-efficient configuration limit the Senior Center’s ability to serve as many people as it could or to do so in the most efficient ways possible. The new building will address these and many other challenges.
Simply put, the current building is no longer adequate to meet the needs of those we serve. Currently, we must use four or more separate locations to facilitate our services, and some programs and services still get bumped due to a lack of space.
The new universally designed building will include better signage, especially for the vision impaired, beautiful greenspace and parking surrounding the entire building to increase the number of preferred parking spots.
“When Covid hit, and everything shut down, the Senior Center made all the difference for this community. We thought we knew how critical their mission was, but now there is no doubt. I don’t know what seniors would have done if the Senior Center hadn’t moved so swiftly into action as it did.”
“The daily calls mean a lot to me. Sometimes I don’t talk to anybody all day. They are my connection to the world. They make me feel safe and loved.”
“The fitness center has helped me to become more active. I have met some of the nicest people there. We swap recipes, restaurant recommendations, book titles, and have a lot of laughs. I definitely feel healthier and the social benefit is a definite plus.”
“Prior to the Covid pandemic shutdown my dad was coming to the Senior Center every day: volunteering for Meals on Wheels, playing bridge and Texas Hold ‘Em, attending the lunch bunch outings and enjoying the Investment Club meetings. These activities gave him a purpose he looked forward to each day. When the center closed, I was trying to keep him entertained, engaged and interested in life, but isolation was a reality. He became bored and despondent. I noticed a decline in his mental acuity and his physical abilities began to slide. We were elated when the Senior Center reopened. I noticed a spring in his step and that spark in his eye returned. The Gulfport Senior Center provides social interaction, physical movement, and a sense of purpose. Thank you for all you do for the Senior Community.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does the community need a new center? What’s wrong with what we have?
The current Senior Center was built in 1983 making it almost 40 years old. Since then, the senior community has significantly increased and is projected to outnumber children, 18 years and younger, for the first time in U.S. history by 2030.
Not only has the number of seniors changed, the needs of seniors has changed. The Gulfport Senior Center must adapt to these changing needs by offering a more holistic approach to aging and offer classes, services, and activities that inspire mental, physical, emotional, and social growth and well-being. To do this, additional space designed specifically for all levels of physical ability is needed.
How was the new center designed?
A team of engineers, city developers, and senior center professionals and participants brainstormed for months, identifying the needs of the growing senior community (updated technology, space flexibility, simple to use and navigate spaces, adaptability to different users’ needs and their level of ability.) New design concepts, including Universal Design were researched and ultimately became a focal point while designing the new Senior Center.
Additionally, other elements of the Senior Center’s functionality were considered.
- A more discreet Food Pantry was incorporated into the design in order to eliminate the possible embarrassment and stigma for its users.
- Extra meeting rooms and office space is included to offer third party resources (ie. Veteran services, legal assistance, Medicare and health insurance assistance, benefit application assistance, etc.) to create a one-stop shop concept.
- Outdoor activity space and large meeting rooms were added to accommodate all Senior Center activities.
What is universal design?
In short Universal Design (UD) allows for all spaces to be used with the same effort regardless of your level of ability or disability. UD considers body size and abilities, promotes health wellness, and insures that information is easily identified and perceived.
“Universal Design is a framework for the design of places, things, information, communication and policy to be usable by the widest range of people operating in the widest range of situations without special or separate design. Most simply, Universal Design is human-centered design of everything with everyone in mind.”
– The Institute for Human Centered Design
UD Element Examples:
- Bold, easy to read signage with meaningful icons
- Larger restroom stalls with angled grab bars and doors that open out
- Stairs with wider, shorter steps
- Bright and appropriate lighting
- Wide interior doors and hallway
- Door knobs and other components which do not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting
For more information on UD
For more information on how UD principles have been applied to the Gulfport Senior Center design, please call (727) 893-1231.
How much will this cost?
|Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment
*Estimated 2024 construction costs. A detailed breakout may be made available..
How will the money be raised?
Funding will come from many possible sources: Federal/State/Local Grants, Corporate Donations and Individual/Private Philanthropy.
Call (727) 893-1231 to learn more.