Mayor Bob Gatt is excited to announce the creation of a Special Outreach Services (SOS) program focused on increasing engagement and delivering support services and resources to senior citizens and residents in Novi with special needs or accessibility challenges.
The program will be implemented at no cost to residents and work is already underway following the request Mayor Gatt made at the March 22 City Council Meeting.
“If we want to continue to be the best we have to continue to think outside the box and ensure the needs of our entire population are being met,” Mayor Gatt said. “The pandemic has highlighted the struggles of our senior citizens and those with special needs and we are not going to leave them behind.”
Since being given the direction on Monday night, City Manager Peter Auger has spoken with City staff and:
- Taken action to incorporate accessibility and sensory features into renovations beginning soon at Ella Mae Power Park
- Reviewed data analytics to identify areas in the City with a higher concentration of seniors and those with special needs to increase outreach and deliver support services and resources
- Started to research ways to expand the Senior Transportation Program to include partnerships with ride-share and delivery services
- Made preparations to bring on a dedicated staff member to assist with the outreach efforts and personally connect with those who may need - but normally not ask for – assistance
In the current climate, Mayor Gatt has also asked for the SOS program to assist these residents with receiving vaccinations for COVID-19. While the City of Novi does not have control over vaccine distribution, many residents may struggle finding vaccination appointments or getting to an appointment. City staff will advocate on their behalf, walking them through the process and ensuring if they want to receive a vaccine they will be able to do so.
An educational package/toolkit on the Senior Outreach Services program is being developed and will provide concise, easy-to-find communication about all services offered to those in need. Look for more to come on this exciting, new initiative in the coming weeks.