About > History
Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center (GBCGAC) traces it origins to 1971 when neighborhood activists, including members of community organizations, seniors, merchants, professionals, students and leaders, recognized the lack of services to the Chinese-speaking elders. After much lobbying, the City’s Boston Redevelopment Authority allowed the use of a storefront a 239 Harrison Avenue to establish a drop-in center. Even though there were no funds available, the center happened because hours of labor went into cleaning and painting to create a place where elderly could socialize. Boston’s Commission on Affairs of the elderly supported the center by providing part-time staff to cook and service Chinese-style meals to approximately 40 participants daily. Furniture and kitchen equipment were donated by friends, local institutions and merchants.
In January 1972, the Chinese Golden Age Center was formally created and received qualification as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization. The enactment of the federal Older Americans Act provided funds to serve the social needs of the elderly. In 1973, the Golden Age Center received its start-up grant from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs. These funds along with foundation grants and contributions enabled the Golden Age Center to plan for programs and services for the elderly.
- * The Executive Office of Elder Affairs awarded a Title III start-up grant.
- * The Center secured a Community Development Block Grant from the City as well as a protective Services Contract.
- * The nutrition program started to receive funding.
- * The Center relocated to its Quincy Tower site a 5 Oak Street West in Boston and greatly expanded its space.
- * The Center’s first adult day health program started.
- * Hong Lok House located at 25-31 Essex Street in Chinatown, the Center sponsored and HUD funded 28-unit elderly housing development, opened in January 1982.
- In 1985, Brighton House at 677 Cambridge Street near Brighton Center, was purchased, renovated and began operation as a satellite center for the growing number of Chinese-speaking elders living in the Allston/Brighton area.
- * Lifeline, medical emergency response service, received funding.
- * Adult day health programs expanded to all three sites, and began to successfully serve frail elder.
- * The City began to fund Title III-B drop-in social service grants every year.
- * Mystic Valley Elder Services, Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services, South Shore Elder Services, and West Suburban Elder Services ( now Springwell), being Area Agencies on Aging began to award federal Title III Community Outreach and Social Service grants.
- * New England Medical Center ( now Tufts Medical Center) awarded health promotion grants through its Asian Health Initiative.
- * Through a subcontract with National Asian Pacific Center on Aging, the Agency became a provider of employment and training opportunities through the Senior Community Service Employment Program.
- * The Agency gained the use of three additional service and outreach sites. These include the Wollaton Senior Center in Quincy, Malden Council on Aging and Cambridge Council on Aging.
- * The State Office of Minority and Women Business Assistance (SOMWBA) certified the Agency as minority non-profit organization.
- * The agency collaborated with Harvard University Medical School, Brandeis University, Wellesley College, and Boston University on several research projects related to Asian elderly issues.
- * Collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital and Hebrew Senior Life on Asian health education.
- * Establishment of an outreach site a the Brookline Council on Aging.
- * Continuation of Title III-B social services grants and Title III-D health education and promotion grants with addition of Title III-E caregivers grants and Title III-D medication management grant.
- * Continued Boston Neighbor Walk partially funded by Boston the Boston Public Health Commission to improve the health of Boston residences through regular walking.
- * A new Hong Lok House is planned to expand from 28 units to 75 units of affordable housing with a new adult day health center and a senior center.
* Established two meal sites in Quincy
* Expanded services to two outreach sites; Belmont Council on Aging and Needham Council on Aging Senior Centers.
* Continuation of social service IIIB Grants, IIID Health Promotion and Education Grants with Medication Management
* Evidence based programs-Stanford University model, Chronic Disease Self Management and Maine Health’s Partnership for Healthy Aging Model, A Matter of Balance
* Work at the new Hong Lok House is underway with occupancy planned for early 2014
* Nutrition program expanded to include nutrition education, outreach and counseling in homes by a registered dietician funded by Boston’s Commission on Affairs of the Elderly
* Collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital ADRC and Hebrew Senior Life on Asian health education
* Collaboration with Dr. William Collings in the development of instruction tools for family and friends on “Touch, Caring and Cancer Training” with support from the National Cancer Institute