Growing Together

Check out the new community gardens at Monterey Pines and Cypress Pines, two affordable housing communities located in Richmond, CA. Spearheaded by Director of Social Services Alliayiah Smith, LifeSTEPS residents pitched in to help prepare the gardens, planting squash, zucchini, broccoli, carrots, peas and pumpkins.

“Creating and caring for these gardens has been an incredible experience. Residents of all ages have come together to grow their own food and they’re so excited to see the fruits of their labor,” said Alliayiah.


Meredith Chillemi serving on Orange County Office on Aging Steering Committee

Meredith Chillemi is serving on a new 15-member advisory steering committee, in partnership with the Orange County Office on Aging (OoA) and Charitable Ventures Orange County, to support the re-engagement of older adults in a post-COVID world.

As senior centers throughout Orange County begin to re-open and other programs return to pre-pandemic offerings, education and outreach efforts directed at older adults is critical. These efforts will need to address older adults’ hesitation, fear, mental and physical decline, and the long-term consequences of isolation. Similarly, organizations that serve older adults will need the tools and resources to ensure health and safety for staff, volunteers, and clients.

“In this role, I am pleased to collaborate with fellow aging services providers so that older adults may emerge from the last year, learn what they can do to energize their lives and get ready to thrive as part of the Orange County community again,” said Meredith.