2021 LEADERSHIP AWARDS HONOREE
The Spanish Speaking Elderly Council-RAICES is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization that operates in New York City.
RAICES was founded in 1978 by retired Latino older adults who saw the need for an organization which would provide services, educate and organize the Latino, African-American low-income aging community in the borough of Brooklyn.
RAICES’ mission is to respond to the unmet needs of the Latino, African-American and low-income community and seeks to improve their quality of life through advocacy and the direct provision of targeted services with work across the generations and a particular emphasis on the needs of older adults.
RAICES developed an “ethnic ramp” concept towards improving access to services for older adults of color. In this model, culturally and linguistically appropriate services are used as tools to improve access and increase utilization of services for this community. The organization currently operates eleven direct service sites, seven in Brooklyn and four in Queens. This includes nine senior centers, a case assistance division and a licensed outpatient behavorial health clinic – the first geriatric outpatient behavioral health clinic in Brooklyn. The organization provides over 107,000 meals per year. Across all sites the organization provides over 3,250 participants a year with additional services such as health and wellness activities, case assistance and management, educational classes, individual and group psychotherapy and psychiatric medication management sessions. With the exception of the outpatient behavioral health clinic, all participants are required to be 60 years old and above in order to qualify for services.
As a social service agency, RAICES recognizes the importance, and places great value on applying innovative and creative strategies in order to keep culturally and linguistically competent services in the community.