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Senior center closes doors, opens phone lines

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St. Martin de Porres Senior Center in Alexandria closed its doors March 18 in response to COVID-19, but not before providing shelf-stable meal boxes to clients to take home. Over the course of three days, the Catholic Charities-run program distributed six to nine meals’ worth of non-perishables to participants while the City of Alexandria prepares to increase its Meals on Wheels program for homebound seniors.

St. Martin’s, in partnership with the City of Alexandria, provides a variety of activities, field trips and meals for senior citizens, and typically serves 55-60 clients a day. In the last few days before the center closed, the numbers dropped as participants voluntarily stayed home, according to Michael Horne, director of clinical services for diocesan Catholic Charities. 

Staff at the center will be available by phone and proactively calling the most vulnerable participants to check in.

“Our hope is that we’ll touch base with everyone every couple of days,” said Horne. “And that they can call us as well if they need something.”


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020