A lifelong champion for the rights of the poor and the elderly, Dr. Arthur S. Flemming served in every president’s administration, from FDR to Clinton, and held such positions as Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Commissioner on Aging and Chair of the Civil Rights Commission. His passion to serve the elderly led him to organize a coalition of five local faith communities who would seek out frail and isolated seniors and connect them to the support they needed. The dedicated efforts of Dr. Flemming and the five founding faith communities led to the beginning of Emmaus Services for the Aging. In 1978, Emmaus opened its doors to the community and more than 27 years later moved into a new building in the Shaw community, named in honor of the late Dr. Flemming. In 2008, Emmaus took on a new role as the DC Office on Aging’s Lead Agency for Ward 2. While we have a special dedication to seniors residing in Ward 2, our services are open to any seniors living in the District of Columbia.
Currently, Emmaus hosts daily activities and programs at 3 Senior Centers and 5 Nutrition Sites throughout Ward 2 in the District of Columbia. These services include exercise classes, healthy-cooking classes, nutrition education, health screenings, wellness education, socialization and recreation services, case management, counseling services, arts and crafts activities, computer literacy training, and employment assistance. Each Senior Center is unique in the primary programs they offer to seniors and focused in the population which they serve.
Our Emmaus Senior Center focuses on serving low income seniors, and is located in the Arthur S. Flemming Center, which also houses the administrative offices of Emmaus in the Shaw neighborhood. Our Asian and Pacific Islander Senior Center (APISC), located in Chinatown, is the only center serving the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) senior population in the District. The Oasis Senior Center for the Homeless Aged (Oasis) is the only day center designated to provide services to homeless men who are seniors. Both the APISC and Oasis are located in community churches in Ward 2, though these Centers are open to any senior resident of the District. While each center has a specific target population, seniors can participate at any center where they feel comfortable.