History & Milestones of the Organization
The Painesville Area Senior Citizens Center was established in the early 1970’s through the efforts of Dorothy and Maynard Allen. Dorothy, a newly retired senior, had a vision to create a social hub where seniors could meet to fellowship and participate in activities. Her determination and due diligence took the organization from its infancy to its former home of forty years at 85 North Park Place on the Painesville Square. Dorothy knew the value of sustainability and created an environment that grew to utilize all 34,000 square feet of that building. The center became a landlord to business tenants as well as operated its own restaurant, beauty salon and thrift store. She lobbied local business moguls and challenged center members to become stakeholders in assisting with eliminating the total mortgage note in an unprecedented 7 year period.
The organization continued to thrive in that format, adding a fitness equipment room, computers for member use and update to its interior, until a devastating fire occurred in November of 2010. In its wake was left an empty shell of the entire second floor and ground level restaurant. The mainstream of internal revenue was gone, as were the former tenants searching for new space to continue their own services. Through the outreach and support of Painesville City leaders the Morse Avenue Community Center became a temporary residence for the next 5 months. Upon return, center leadership reinvested accumulated cash value monies from the claim to restore the main level including the addition of a 2,700 sq. ft. exercise room, full service kitchen and storefront salon. Although these amenities were embraced and membership continued to increase, the building itself had significantly decreased in market value. Leadership was faced with the difficult and heart retching decision to either attempt to recreate the once stable environment of business tenancy or place the property for sale to parlay a capital account that could be used as a catalyst for a future construction. The later of the two options was chosen which led to the 2016 sale of the building to the County Commissioners. This purchase contributes to their plan in centralizing various satellite offices into a new four story annex adjacent to their existing Administration Building.
“Which way do we go?” Center leadership employs professional consultants to create and mediate a strategic plan identifying viable options for collaborative partnerships. These relationships examine both short and long term opportunities as well as sustainability. They include municipality presence as well as other ‘mission based’ non-profit organizations. On March 18th, 2016 a public announcement was made that the Painesville Senior Center has signed a one year memorandum of understanding to be housed within and work collaboratively with the Lake County Central YMCA.
We all know “it’s fun to stay at the YMCA” and as this nations mature population continues to increase, partnerships such as this are creating strong, proactive, effective and enjoyable opportunities to meet their needs. What’s around the corner for this organization? That path is yet unseen, but we welcome you to join us on that journey.