One of the age-friendly programs touted as a big win for senior citizens at last week’s Age-Friendly Neighborhood announcement was the impending arrival of a mobile MetroCard van AND a USPS mobile van.
“During discussions this past year, our Senior Advisory Council indicated that bringing [these]vans to Myrtle Avenue was a priority,” said Rebeca Ramirez, communications director at the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership (MARP), which spearheaded the effort to get Fort Greene and Clinton Hill designated an age-friendly neighborhood.
“The USPS will station a mobile van once per month in front of the [Whitman Houses] Senior Center on North Portland Street, from 11am-2pm, beginning July 27,” Ramirez continued. “We’d like to thank Community Board 2 and Assembly member Walter Mosley for their assistance in securing the Mobile Van.”
For Paula Jay McCalla, one of the members of MARP’s Senior Advisory Council and a part of the Prime Time Ministry at Emmanuel Baptist Church (279 Lafayette Avenue), getting the mobile van was a pleasant surprise.
“I think it’s great, wonderful, and I’m happy that it actually happened,” she exclaimed. “We talk about these things and I’m glad that our talk was not in vain. Seniors banding together and showing that we really want these things and it came to fruition — I’m so happy.”
McCalla noted that the van is necessary for local seniors because they can’t always get to the post offices at Cadman Plaza or Pratt Station easily, and when they do, it’s not always an easy trip and visit.
“We have a lot of problems at Cadman. . . I‘m so tired of begging for things,” she explained. “A lot of seniors have Access-A-Ride and now we won’t have to hope [city]bus drivers show a little graciousness. It’s a trip and even when you go to Cadman Plaza or anywhere you have to wait on long lines and sometimes they’re not nice and close the windows.”
McCalla did say, however, that she hopes the vans will eventually come more than once a month. “Hopefully we can get it once a week,” she said. Until then, “we’ll put up flyers and do everything so we have publicity and let seniors know that it’s there. A lot of seniors don’t go to senior centers, so we have to put it in the buildings, everywhere, in newspapers and with politicians.”
If you have a suggestion for another site for the USPS Mobile Van, let MARP know by calling 718-230-1689.