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Encore Community Services helps older adults thrive

The center serves more than 500,000 meals a year to older adults - both on site and homebound.

Natalia Ryzak

Mar 30, 2023, 9:29 PM

Updated 450 days ago

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At the Encore Community Services in midtown west, dozens of seniors were enjoying a hot meal and company.
The center serves more than 500,000 meals a year to older adults - both on site and homebound. It even supports low income housing at its adjacent residence, Encore West, and supportive housing at its other residence, Encore 49, which is often for older adults who have experienced homelessness.
But the center wouldn’t be what it is without Sister Lillian McNamara, who helped found Encore over 45 years ago in 1977. 
“When we started, there was no program, there was just a chapel down here,” said Sister Lillian. “The neighborhood had gotten so bad, the people who came to the services started to dwindle. I mean, it was really, really bad. It was also a time where half of Broadway was dark.”
Alongside Father George Moore and Sister Elizabeth Hasselt, Sister Lillian helped renovate the site into a usable space.
She recalled getting the word out by distributing flyers and through word of mouth.
“It grew very quickly. We started out with 125 on site. By the end of the year, we were up to 175 on site, and then it went on and on and on,” explained Sister Lillian. 
Today, it has grown from just a small basement in the church into a strong program that helps older adults thrive.
Encore will host its major annual fundraiser on June 12 at the Manhattan Manor Skylight Room.
For more information and tickets, click here.


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