The Mission of CLASS is to support older adults by building and supporting a network of services and opportunities.
CLASS serves the 55+ population residing within
Mahtomedi, North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale, and White Bear Lake Area School Districts.
The Purpose of CLASS is to:
Improve the independence, psychological, social, spiritual and physical health of the 55+ population.
Convene stakeholders and partners to work on community focused strategies which more effectively and efficiently use available resources.
Provide a network of services, resources and activities for the 55+ population and their care givers.
Create a comprehensive communication system that allows people to access information and services.
Research local needs and available services.
Identify and prioritize action steps to address community needs.
Support research and development of best practices.
Leverage civic engagement of the 55+ population.
Secure resources to advance community strategies.
Many older adults in our communities struggle with health, mobility and economic issues. Many struggle to continue living independently in their own homes, or to maintain lives that are physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy. Too many lack opportunities for physical activity, social connections and health maintenance. They require access to accessible, acceptable, affordable, adequate transportation and reasonable and safe housing options. They need information that helps them make good decisions about lifestyle and health habits. Meeting their basic food, shelter, medical, and safety needs is often a challenge.
The work of CLASS is to transform the isolation and self-interest in our communities into connectedness and caring. It’s to help create a sense of belonging for people and acknowledge our interdependence to each other. We want our older adults to have the support they need to gracefully address life’s changes and challenges, sustain positive, meaningful and dynamic relationships, live healthy with purpose and joy, and remain in their communities and homes as long as it is safe and practical. The safety, success and well-being of all community members is dependent on the success and well-being of others, including our elders. Our job is to nurture a sense of responsibility across generations by providing, to older adults, tangible services which meet important needs.
CLASS is founded on the belief that we can maximize the return on available financial and human resources by working together. By pulling together leaders and organizations from several communities within three school districts we can avoid duplicating services unnecessarily, share resources and realize efficiencies. Through collaborative efforts we can provide a wider array of services at multiple locations convenient to people. Collaboration, utilizing a wider array of resources, allows us to develop multi-dimensional and multi-sector approaches to problems and issues that multi-dimensional in nature. CLASS exists because there are things we can do together that we can’t do alone in any of our smaller communities.
CLASS aims to establish a self-renewing process that would include a network of individual and member organizational that build sustained, collaborative and strategic efforts which strengthen and improve conditions for this older age group. We intend to bring residents, professionals and elders themselves together to engage in collective action aimed at; building a) new or strengthened social and organizational networks, b) new capacities for community action and support, c) new standards and expectations for life in the community and ultimately d) more elder friendly communities. We will be involving elected community leadership (mayor, city managers), city and county departments and agencies, planning and zoning commissions, churches, schools and businesses in community engagement, problem-solving and local action-planning processes. This process will a) identifies assets, existing services and resources within or available to the community, b) identify the community’s elder needs, c) explore possibilities for collaborative action and d) develop a collaborative action plans.