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Congregate Services Initiative (CSI)

In the early 1990s, senior the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) advocated for discrete funding for a Congregate Services Initiative (CSI) to preserve and enhance funding for programs that promote wellness and ensure that older adults do not face unnecessary isolation and deterioration.

CSI is intended to provide recreational and health-related services in congregate settings. Moreover, it is intended to preserve wellness and health in older adults, thus delaying the future need for more intensive health-related services. By legislative intent, CSI services are aimed at meeting the needs of the well elderly. Allowable CSI services are: information and referral, transportation, nutrition-related services, socialization/companionship, educational and cultural opportunities, counseling, support services for families/caregivers, volunteer opportunities, employment services information, and health promotion and disease prevention services.

In SFY 2011-12, CSI, state funded at $403,000 with local matching funding of $134,355 provided services to about 9,000 older New Yorkers. The funding was used to support more than 14,500 senior centers education/recreation group sessions, 34,425 health promotion units, 11,000 rides, 100 hours of nutrition counseling, and 9,000 nutrition education units. In both SFY 2012-13 and SFY 2013-14, CSI received an appropriation of $403,000.