Our future vision
Learn more about 411 Seniors and our future directions, including our Future Forward and Kickstart the Move fundraising campaigns, below. Please consider supporting 411 today by making one-time or monthly donations – your generous donations have a direct impact on the lives of older adults at 411.
411 Seniors Centre Society
In 1977, forward-thinking people came together to create a small, multi-service nonprofit for older adults, many taking early retirement as part of the “Freedom 55” era. This new centre provided meeting space and a social safety net for the growing population of active, older adults. Older adults found peer-to-peer connections and learning opportunities essential to healthy aging. They turned to each other for assistance in navigating government bureaucracies and advocating for benefits.
Today, 411 Seniors is the essential go-to source of information and camaraderie for many older adults in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. Guided by our founding principles and grassroots nature, we mobilize older adults’ strengths, talents, interests, and expertise to make real, positive changes for older adults and their communities.
Our membership reflects diverse ethnocultural, socioeconomic backgrounds and gender/sexual identities, providing 411 Seniors with a deep understanding of the intertwined challenges and barriers experienced by many older adults every day. Built from decades of direct service and tangible accomplishments, we are proud of our reputation as a trusted partner for older adults and in the community.
By Seniors, For Seniors
Future Forward Campaign
We are proud to launch the Future Forward fundraising campaign to raise $750,000 by 2023 to support older adults navigating a future both challenging and promising.
Honouring our founders’ legacy, the campaign aims to sustain our established, successful programs, such as peer-to-peer connections and life-long learning programs. Funds will also make possible a new, purpose-built building that will provide a literal and spiritual home for 411 Seniors and older adults. And with campaign funding for our relationship-based advocacy work, we can deepen our members’ civic engagement to tackle the discrimination, poverty and digital divide experienced by many older adults.
Donate today by going to our Donate page!
One-time or monthly donations can be made securely online there, and donations can also be made by cheque, payable to The 411 Foundation, the fundraising arm of the 411 Seniors Centre Society.
Kickstart the Move Campaign
We launched the Kickstart the Move fundraising campaign in late spring 2022, as part of our larger Future Forward campaign. From June to September 2022, a special and generous funder matched all donations from individuals up to a total of $15,000.
3 Ways to Support a Future Forward
Seniors Helping Seniors: Essential Services
With Seniors Helping Seniors programming, older adults remain active learners, develop friendships and participate as civic-minded citizens. The programming is comprised of our popular Information & Referral Services, the Income Tax Clinic, Friendly Calls, and in-person and virtual educational and cultural programming. Many services are handled 1:1 and address various requests, most commonly:
♥ Personal safety and security
Much of our programming is designed to occur at our Drop-In Centre. Here, older adults have access to free computers, WIFI and telephones, content-rich workshops, arts/cultural events and celebrations, a food pantry, fitness programs and more. While COVID has restricted in-person gatherings, programs are held virtually whenever possible, and we look forward to welcoming our members to renewed in-person programs.
Your support and donations make this work possible.
New 411 Seniors Centre: Capital Improvements
Following years of consultation, 411 Seniors found the perfect neighbourhood for our future growth – Fraserhood, aka known as Cedar Cottage-Fraserview. Located in an area with one of the largest older adult populations in Vancouver without a seniors’ centre, this is the right place at the right time.
Our new home is a multi-purpose building near public transportation and showcasing green, accessible and senior-friendly design throughout almost 8,000 square feet. The building is digitally-wired so that older adults will have access to virtual learning, senior-led podcasts, video streaming, workshops on using technology, and digital tools.
The new building includes:
♦ Flexible space for events, celebrations, performances and town-hall meetings
♦ Private rooms for health consultations
♦ Kitchen/café, possibly with a nonprofit partner
♦ Mezzanine for 411 administration
Most of 411 programming will occur at the new building’s Drop-In Centre, the physical place where seniors help seniors and “someone to talk to” is always found.
The Drop-In Centre includes:
♥ Free computers, WiFi and telephones
♥ Educational workshops and seminars
♥ Recreational workshops
♥ Arts/cultural events and celebrations
♥ Fitness programs
♥ Food pantry
We are pleased that the new building is co-located with 58 units of senior co-op housing operated by the Community Land Trust. This creates the area’s first model of integrating senior-focused services, facilities and housing to reduce isolation, develop connections and build community among residents, 411 members and visitors.
Your support and donations make this new centre and our services possible.
Community Leadership: Long-Term Changes
Making a real difference for older adults – especially underrepresented older adults, like immigrants, non-English speakers or homebound older adults – requires more than excellent programming and a welcoming home. 411 Seniors must seek long-term policy and systemic change by serving as a partner, convener and, when appropriate, leader in the community.
Advocating for older adults is more important than ever as COVID pushes basic services, social interactions and the latest information online, leaving many older adults suddenly isolated by a digital divide. 411 Seniors started using low-cost digital platforms and the established Powered by Age, a seniors-led podcast, to keep our members connected. Unfortunately, older adults will not fully access vital benefits nor enjoy social and civic participation without reliable access to digital tools, technology and proficiency. 411 Seniors can reduce those inequities encountered by older adults by adapting and expanding our digital offerings and advocating for older adults’ full participation in a digital world.
Your support and donations make this work possible.
Lin knew she could count on 411 Seniors when her monthly GIS payment – an essential part of her income – was delayed due to COVID-19.
A volunteer-driven organization where seniors support seniors, 411 connected Lin to Charlie, a long-time 411 volunteer who alerted the organization to use its skills in collaborating with government agencies. Service Canada, the Federal Minister for Seniors, the BC Seniors Advocate and a local MP were quickly contacted to find a solution. 411 Seniors’ intervention paid off: payments were deposited, allowing Lin and others in similar situations to pay rent and buy groceries.
Lin was one of the 5,700 seniors who engaged with 411 Seniors as COVID-19 dominated 2020, and with the pandemic continuing, our elders remain vulnerable.
Across Vancouver neighbourhoods, as many as 40% of older adults live with poverty’s stresses and uncertainty – and that percentage could grow if Vancouver’s older adult population doubles in the next 30 years as expected. Older adults have the highest poverty rate in Canada, and 44% of single older adults live barely above the poverty line. Older adult women, Indigenous, immigrant and racialized older adults, and older adults with disabilities and chronic health problems, more often experience poverty.
Since the beginning of 2021, we are responding to more requests for personal and financial support services and see an alarming uptake in cases of elder abuse and depression. We see the damage caused by the loneliness and social isolation experienced by too many older adults. And increasingly, we witness older adults encountering new, significant disadvantages in a world turning digital.
Now more than ever, our older adults need 411 Seniors.