Upon my arrival, I was quite surprised by the center’s appearance. For starters, the location of the center was at the corner of the 5300 block of Haverford Avenue in West Philadelphia, and once I made my way to the building I was shocked to see a firehouse station. But, what appeared to be a firehouse station was really the side entrance of the center. I must admit the center was not at all what I had expected. In my mind I assumed the center would be more like a nursing home rather as opposed to a recreational facility for the elderly. course, my original assumption was incorrect.
“This is a facility where the members come to visit us six days a week. During the week, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., we provide socialization services, and we are funded by the PCA (Philadelphia Corporation for the Aging),” says Cathy Brewington, director of the center.
During my visit to the Haddington Multi-Services Center, Brewington made it a point to inform me about the overall history of the organization. From the conversation between Brewington and myself, I learned the center was created and founded by Geneva A. Black, executive director, who was away from her office at the time of my visit.
In the 38 years this organization has existed, the mission has always been simple: “to provide quality and effective in-home, community services to the elderly population.” Some of the services and activities that are available to the members of the Haddington Multi-Services Center are: arts and crafts, computer classes, exercises and fitness, African American history classes, pool, peer counseling and much more. After my interview with Brewington, I had a chance to interact with some of the members, and see the activities some participate in on a daily basis. I observed as some of the male members played a game of pool. I also took a walk through the dining area of the center.
Thanks to the services provided by Black and the rest of her staff, the elderly of the Haddington community have a home away from their home.