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Rep. Kathy Crawford celebrates 15th anniversary at popular senior citizens’ center
August 16, 2016

NOVI, MI - State Representative Kathy Crawford, the creator and founder of Novi’s Meadowbrook Commons’ senior center, was a guest speaker last week at the facility’s 15th Anniversary celebration luncheon. Patrons living at the complex on Meadowbrook Road, just north of 10 Mile Road, also were entertained by strolling musician Dr. Michael Meyer.

“It was a great day, and a wonderful celebration, of a truly remarkable facility,” Crawford said. “It was an honor for me to speak at such a special event that honored so many long-time supporters of me – and supporters of the beautiful complex on Meadowbrook Road.”

In the early 1990’s, Crawford had a “vision.” She clearly saw – and understood – that demographics were shifting to older, active adults in Novi and the surrounding western Oakland County communities. Crawford instinctively knew there was a need for a senior center, so she focused on getting it done before the end of the decade. The goal was accomplished in 2001.

While Crawford remains modest about this accomplishment, it’s clear to all of her Oakland County constituents that her passion, persistence and Leadership led to the success of this project.

“It’s not about me,” Crawford explained. “It was about having the knowledge and understanding of the decision-making process to get things done for the hard-working taxpayers in southwest Oakland County."

How did she do it?

First, Crawford leveraged her existing position in Oakland County where she was a Program Director for 35 senior citizen centers sponsored by the Oakland/Livingston Human Service Agency (OLHSA). She left OLHSA, wrote the job description for a newly-formed position called, Novi Senior Citizen Director, and convinced Novi city officials to hire her.

“It was only a 20-hour position at the time, but I told city officials that they needed to hire me to build a Novi Senior Center with affordable senior citizen housing,” Crawford recalled. “I was very confident I could get it done because I knew there was a need in our community for this kind of project.”

So, Crawford went to work:

• She began to gather data to validate the need

• She assembled a team of experts and specialists to develop a comprehensive construction plan

• She acquired and managed State and Federal grants for the project

• And, she persistently lobbied Novi council members to approve and build a Novi Senior Center

It took some time and patience, but Crawford’s passion (and vision) for this project eventually became a reality, called Meadowbrook Commons.

The facility now houses more than 200 active older adults, and there’s a waiting list to get in. The center is a true “residential community within a community” that hosts numerous activities and special events all year-round for senior citizens.