Seniors can call Mesa for help at 480-644-5756 The Mesa Tribune | The Hometown Newspaper for the city of Mesa, AZ

Seniors can call Mesa for help at 480-644-5756

Seniors can call Mesa for help at 480-644-5756
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By Ramona Barajas-Villar
Tribune Contributor

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Mesa has launched a program called “Adopt-A-Grandparent” to help residents 60 years and older get essential supplies they need while remaining in their own homes.

The Mesa program is operated by the nonprofit For Our City Mesa, a network of faith, non-profit, municipal and business leaders that creates solutions for their community.

Volunteers will deliver prescriptions, food, and other essentials.

For Our City Mesa Director Paul Anderson said seniors in need can apply online at mesaaz.gov or leave a message on the Adopt-A-Grandparent Hotline 480-644-5756. They will be asked to fill out a form seeking details on the types of assistance they need – such as a food box, general supplies or a prescription pickup.

“I volunteered at a food bank and saw many seniors, some with obvious underlying health conditions, waiting in line for food,” Mayor John Giles said. “I wanted to find a way keep those seniors safe at home and also connect to others who are suddenly finding themselves in need and alone.”

Anderson said, “We have an excellent team of volunteers ready to help. What we need now, is help finding seniors who don’t have access to what they need through family, friends, church or other means.”

The city also advised seniors they also can call the Area Agency on Aging if they have other concerns that the city line can’t address in relation to the pandemic. That 24/7 hotline number is 602-264-HELP (4357).

Giles said the volunteers are not expected to buy necessities for seniors and are merely delivering the supplies to their front door.

“We should be doing everything possible so they can stay home,’’ Giles said, noting that  seniors are in the high-risk category for COVID-19 and he has been disappointed by the sight of many with physical limitations showing up at United Food Bank events in wheelchairs and on walkers.

“We want to identify the at-risk people in the community,” he said. “A lot of these folks, I can see the fear in their eyes.’’

Anderson said he hopes volunteers from For Our City will provide whatever they can to seniors within 24-36 hours from when they call, although delivery will be affected by supply and volunteer availability.

According to Anderson, food will come from supporting organizations and churches in Mesa.

In order to qualify for the program, applicants must be Mesa residents and at least 60. Applicants will receive assistance under a first-come, first-serve basis and must provide their name, address and phone number when they call the hotline. 

In order to reach seniors who may not have access to a phone or to the internet, Giles and Anderson are encouraging residents to check in with elderly people in Mesa they may know.

Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention social distancing guidelines of staying 6 feet apart from others, volunteers will drop items at doorsteps. 

At the moment, For Our City Mesa does not need donations but the group is looking for churches of all denominations across Mesa to help address the needs of their senior citizens, Anderson said.

 Giles said it is important for the faith community to “step up and take care for their own.”

 “The faith community is one of Mesa’s secret weapons,” Giles said, adding that it is one of the biggest parts of the equation to solve this problem.  γ

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