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Mayor Bowser Hosts Senior Fest 2023: Believe the Hype

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser celebrated seniors from across the District and highlighted investments and resources that support older residents during the Senior Fest 2023: Believe the HYPE event. During the event, the Mayor announced that progress has been made to close out financing on the Fort Totten Senior Apartments project at Riggs Place Park in Ward 4, which will include 93 units of independent living senior housing, with more than half available to residents earning less than 30% of the Median Family Income ($31,650 for a single household).

“Senior Fest is a fantastic way to get ready for summer – an opportunity to reconnect with friends and neighbors and to learn about all the great summer programs we have at DC Government that keep people connected,” said Mayor Bowser. “Yesterday, we passed a budget that makes big investments in our seniors, especially when it comes to keeping seniors safe at home, connected to community, and connected to health care and opportunities to exercise.”

The Fort Totten Senior Apartments was partly funded with over $25 million from the Housing Production Trust Fund from the Department of Housing and Community Development and land disposed of by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, among other private investments.

In addition to highlighting the progress that has been made with Fort Totten Senior Apartments, the Mayor also highlighted investments in her Fiscal Year 2024 budget to support seniors, including:

  • $1 million increase the eligibility of the Safe at Home Program, which allows seniors to receive cost coverage for medication reviews, vision screenings, and important safety modifications to homes like balance bars.
  • $1.5 million to expand transportation access for seniors through the ConnectorCard program, through which seniors can receive up to $100 a month in travel funds.
  • $550,000 for free dental services for seniors.
  • $340,500 to distribute tablet devices to seniors for improving wellness activities, telehealth, and socialization
  • $750,000 to expand pickleball courts by repurposing existing and underutilized tennis courts

“As we bring Older Americans Month to a close with the highly anticipated Senior Fest, we are incredibly grateful for opportunities like this, where our seniors can foster connections and engagement with government agencies and the entire community,” said Acting Director for the Department of Aging and Community Living Charon P.W. Hines. “Looking ahead, we are excited to continue our efforts in bringing more seniors back to events and activities, reaffirming our commitment to combating senior isolation—a top priority for Mayor Bowser. Together, we can create a community where our seniors thrive, staying connected and feeling valued as they age the way they want and choose.”

Senior Fest is one of the Department of Parks and Recreation’s (DPR) annual signature events, and this year the event was held at the Gateway DC pavilion on the St. Elizabeths East campus, where seniors enjoyed entertainment, music, food, and more.

“At DPR, we are incredibly proud to serve our senior residents throughout the year through our programs, events, and senior centers,” said Interim Director of DPR Thennie Freeman, “Senior Fest provides us a special opportunity to bring together senior residents in celebration, fellowship, and a good bit of fun! DPR continues to offer gold standard programs, activities, and facilities to our seasoned citizens.”