Greenwich House senior center reopens; hopes to add programs


The Greenwich House seniors program reopened last Wed. Oct. 1 to the delight of about 100 old-timers who attended the breakfast and lunch servings in the refurbished rooms of the settlement house at 27 Barrow St.

City Councilmember Christine Quinn, who led the lobbying effort last spring to include the senior program funding in the city budget, joined the celebration. Hazel Feldman, who ran senior centers in Queens, presided at the opening on her first day as director of Greenwich House’s seniors program.

Mary Imperato, a longtime member of Greenwich House’s senior advisory council and one of the people who protested the proposed closing last April, was enthusiastic about the reopening.

“There were about 98 at breakfast and even more at lunch and when the word gets out more, we hope they’ll keep coming,” Imperato said this week.

Painting classes and a Tai Chi class for seniors will begin soon, according to Gerri Matusewich, Greenwich House director of programs. “We’re looking at the possibility of more programs when we have a clearer picture of funding,” Matusewich said.

The senior program was suspended for two years during a reconstruction of the senior center space and the installation of a new elevator. It was due to reopen in April, but the Bloomberg administration omitted the funding of slightly less than $300,000, because of the budget crunch.

Funding for the program was restored in June at the urging of elected officials, neighbors and Greenwich House seniors.