Brookline Community Aging Network



BrooklineCAN, its founding partners ( Brookline Senior Center, Center Communities of Brookline, Goddard House, Jewish Family & Children's Service) and other organizations such as the town's Age Friendly Cities Program all deal with seniors. We often cooperatate and some BrooklineCAN members work or volunteer for other organizations. BrooklineCAN events are often co-sponsored with some of these same groups.

All this can lead to confusion. This page is an effort to clarify.

BrooklineCAN, the Council on Aging, and the Senior Center

BrooklineCAN is a membership organization, mostly supported by member donations, and defined by the activities of those members. Those activities are carried out by various BrooklineCAN committees:
  • Livable Community Advocacy Committee works with town organizations to promote issues of interest to seniors.
  • Membership Committee Organizes events, publications, and activities to attract and retain members.
  • Communications Committee sends information via a monthly newsletter, press releases, Twitter, Facebook, and this web site.
  • Education Committee Runs educational events of interest to seniors and others.
  • Service Referral Committee Maintains a list of various service providers recommended by our members.
  • Volunteer Committee Maintains a list and web site of volunteer opportunities.
  • Steering Committee Coordinates the activities of other committees and sets policy for BrooklineCAN.

You can read more about BrooklineCAN committees here.

The Council on Aging is a Town of Brookline municipal department, founded in 1955, that runs the Senior Center. Though they're often seen to be one organization today, the COA was providing services to Brookline seniors for 46 years before the senior center was opened.

The Brookline Multi-Service Senior Center Corporation, which was founded in 1977, is the non-profit 501(c)(3) sister organization that raises money for the Senior Center and the COA, above and beyond the Town of Brookline's contribution. Donations to BrooklineCAN go through the BMSSCC, which makes them tax deductible.

The Brookline Senior Center is the building, opened in 2001, where professional staff and volunteers provide a wide range of programs and services in health, learning, arts, socialization, nutrition, and recreation.

The town provides staff (through the COA), pays the utilities, and funds general maintenance. The town typically covers about 70% of the Senior Center's annual operating budget. The rest comes from federal, state, and foundation grants, corporate sponsors, and donors.

BrooklineCAN's Livable Community Advocacy Committee
and The Town's Age Friendly Cities program

People sometimes confuse BrooklineCAN's Livable Community Advocacy Committee with the town's Age Friendly Cities program.

The Age Friendly Cities program is an initiative of the World Health Organization and the Town of Brookline. In the fall of 2012, after a six month planning process, Brookline submitted its application to join the network. The program disseminates information about Brookline’s strong existing age friendly features and develops more specific initiatives in the following areas: health and human services, housing, library, public safety, parks, recreation, property tax relief for seniors, transportation, and participation. It is a collaboration among the Town of Brookline, the Brookline Council on Aging, and BrooklineCAN that is coordinated by a committee appointed by the Select Board . More than ten Town departments and boards and commissions are involved.

More information on the town's program is available here and here.

The Livable Community Advocacy Committee is one of several BrooklineCAN committees. It works to influence policy on issues of interest to seniors and others. Some members of BrooklineCAN's Livable Community Advocacy Committee also serve on the town's Age Friendly Cities committee. The Livable Community Advocacy Committee's activities are described here.