Tallahassee, Florida –
The Florida Department of Elder Affairs on October 11 welcomed the Big Bend cities of Monticello and Midway to the ranks of Florida communities participating in the state’s Communities for a Lifetime initiative. The two Big Bend cities become the 114th and 115th actively participating communities in Florida.
“It’s inspiring when neighbors work together to create a better quality of life for local seniors,” said Elder Affairs Interim Secretary Charles T. Corley. “Through this partnership with the Department of Elder Affairs, the Cities of Monticello and Midway will have access to new tools to help their residents enjoy countless benefits. Our goal is to foster communities that are friendly not just for seniors, but for everyone.”
Monticello initially joined the Communities for a Lifetime initiative in 2006, but did not actively participate in the program. In renewing its commitment to the initiative, the city took an important step for seniors and others within the community. Jefferson County is home to approximately 3,400 residents age 60 or older, representing almost one-fourth (23 percent) of the county’s population.
"In Monticello, seniors are one of least supported groups and they will benefit from the city's participation in the Communities for a Lifetime initiative,” said Mayor John S. Jones Jr. “Seniors have offered so much to the city, it is time that they reap rewards from their efforts."
Commenting on her city’s decision to join the Communities for a Lifetime initiative, Midway Mayor Quintealia Cato said, “Becoming a part of the Communities for a Lifetime initiative is an opportunity the City of Midway could not afford to miss out on. With this opportunity, the city will have the chance to provide direct services to seniors that will not only better their lives but positively impact the lives of everyone in the community. Cities like ours need more governmental initiatives that help the old and young maintain a safe and affordable quality of life.”
Seniors represent 19 percent of the population in Gadsden County, where some 10,000 residents are age 60 or older.
Monticello becomes the first Jefferson County community to participate in the initiative, while Midway becomes the fourth in Gadsden County – joining county government and the municipalities of Chattahoochee and Quincy.
The Communities for a Lifetime initiative works with Florida cities, towns and counties to use existing local resources and state technical assistance to plan and implement improvements that benefit residents of all ages. It promotes planning in areas such as housing, transportation, health and wellness, volunteerism, inter-generational programs and employment. The goal is to help seniors remain independent and age in place within their communities throughout their lifetimes.
For more information regarding the Communities for a Lifetime initiative or the Department of Elder Affairs website see the links below.