NAPLES — The Naples Senior Center is moving ahead with plans for a new, state-of-the-art, 30,000-square-foot facility that will become its permanent home.
Collier County commissioners recently approved the project, according to a statement, which will be built on Autumn Oaks Lane, a block south of Immokalee Road. Since opening its doors in January 2014, the organization has seen a surge in the depth and scope of need for comprehensive senior services in this region, the statement adds. The center is the only human services agency of its kind in Southwest Florida, providing “one-stop shop” services to address the emotional and social needs of seniors in Collier and southern Lee counties.
“In just seven years, we have outgrown our current leased space on Castello Drive,” Naples Senior Center President and CEO Jaclynn Faffer says in the statement. “Membership has increased from 80 to more than 1,400 members, and the number of Dementia Respite Groups has increased from one to 11. This state-of-the-art facility will help ensure that our programs and services remain available to any senior who wants to become part of our family.”
The new Naples Senior Center will be centrally located to the largest concentration of members and will be easily accessible from other locations in Collier County, the release states. The site also will enable seniors to benefit from a nurturing, natural setting that offers outdoor space for walking, quiet contemplation and low-impact exercise programs such as tai chi.
The project will be funded through a capital campaign launched in 2019 and has been accelerated by a $5 million commitment from local philanthropists Patty and Jay Baker. “The Naples Senior Center serves a critical need for older adults in our community,” said Jay Baker in the release. “We are proud to support their mission of empowering seniors by giving them the tools to address life’s challenges. It is our hope that our contribution will encourage other community-minded individuals to step up in support of this organization.”
The Naples Senior Center enriches the lives of those 60 years of age and older by providing comprehensive programs and social services that support and strengthen individuals and their families, often at times of vulnerability and crisis. Since the COVID-19 outbreak in mid-March, the center has been meeting seniors’ needs virtually. Licensed and credentialed professionals provide all programs and services.