Holy Family Senior Center, a Spanish-style structure at 203 Dr. Frederick Humphries Drive in Apalachicola, is owned by the city of Apalachicola. It borders Franklin Square, one of six historic squares in Apalachicola, which also features a pavilion and playground on the opposite corner. This is also the location for the annual H’Cola Black History Festival.
“Holy Family Senior Center is a vital resource for Apalachicola’s senior citizens, and an important part of local history,” said Mayor Kevin Begos.
This year marks 100 years from the inception of the Holy Family Mission School served by Holy Family Order of New Orleans. It took nine years to build the building and the doors opened in 1929. Edmundite priests closed the school in 1968, and it in time became little more than a storage building for the diocese.
Thirty years later in 2008, after real estate broker Leon Bloodworth worked to transition ownership of the the aging building from church to city, Elder Care Services in Tallahassee alerted city officials of the availability of a state grant to for renovating existing buildings to be used for senior centers throughout the state. Val Webb, a city commissioner at the time, and now president of the Elder Care Community Council, along with current city commissioner Brenda Ash, were both crucial to the support of the grant.
Funding also came from the Tourist Development Council which provided money to replace the roof in the community room. Holy Family Senior Center opened in 2012 when the city dedicated the building toward the purpose of the senior center.
By 2016, grant funding for services at the center had dwindled and the ECCC was formed to bridge the gaps in services for seniors in Franklin County. ECCC operates the kitchen, providing lunch to those over age 55. ECCC is supported by the Area Agency on Aging for North Florida and by donations from local businesses and people like you.
ECCC looks forward to the center re-opening to be the vital hub for seniors in Apalachicola when it is safe to resume activities. Prior to COVID-19 closing the doors of the center, there were daily activities and lunch, Monday through Friday. The beautiful building was also available for rental, by the city of Apalachicola, for parties and gatherings of all sorts. Currently lunch is being served for pick-up or delivery to homebound seniors by fabulous volunteers following all safety procedures to keep everyone safe.
If you can support the efforts of ECCC, please call us at 850-370-0116 to volunteer and get involved. Visit our website at www.ecccfranklin.org and click on donate or drop a check in the mail to ECCC, PO Box 335, Eastpoint, FL 32328. Like us on Facebook to stay informed on our activities.
This article originally appeared on The Apalachicola Times: A century of life for Holy Family