The idea for a senior center was first conceived in 1972 by two groups of individuals in Stephenson County, who were aware and concerned about the issues of aging in the community. Members of Grace Episcopal Church in cooperation with the Northwestern Illinois Area Agency on Aging (NIAAA) conducted a survey in the Freeport area to determine the primary problems facing local older adults.
Those who conducted the survey and others soon formed the Stephenson County Council for Aging (now dissolved), whose purpose was to make the public aware of senior citizen needs and to encourage local organizations to meet those needs. With grant funds written by the Freeport Area Council of Churches (FACC), the Center was born in July 1973.
First named the Senior Citizen’s Center for Stephenson County, the facility was located at the First United Methodist Church on Stephenson Street in Freeport. The staff consisted of one director Nancy Mindrup and one social worker. Mr. Lynn Feaver replaced Nancy Mindrup as the second director.
Highlights of the Senior Resource Center progress:
- May 1973 – 12-passenger van donated for transportation of seniors.
- July 1973 – First issue of the Rolling Stone newsletter published on a mimeograph machine.
- March 1974 – Noon meals for seniors initiated.
- November 1976 – The Center establishes its own Board of Directors after separating from FACC, develops new Bylaws, and was re-named The Senior Center.
- October 1983 – The Center moves to Freeport Art Center on North Harlem to accommodate more activities.
- 1986 – New Jo Daviess office opens in Galena.
- Early 1996 – Lona Kniskern named third director, and the center was voted “Outstanding Illinois Senior Center” later that year.
- 2007 — Lona retires and Kelly Alexander Hillan named as fourth director.
- 2010 — The Center relocates to the Lincoln Mall on Galena Ave. in Freeport.
- May 2013 – Susan Lambert replaces Ms. Hillan as fifth director.
- 2015 — The Senior Center moves to its current remodeled location on Stephenson St.
- January 2016 – Open House for new location.
- February 2016 – SRC launches new website: https://seniorresourcecenter.net.
- December 2016 — SRC buys building at 216 E. Stephenson St. for Senior Activity Center. The entire complex is now known as the Senior Resource Center Campus.
- June 2019 — Susan Lambert retires and Sonja Shoemaker and Kevin Countryman named assistant directors.
- March 2020 — Senior Resource Center closes its doors to foot traffic because of the COVID-19 pandemic but continues serving its participants via phone, Zoom and other emerging technologies.
- November 2020 — Kevin departs and Sonja Shoemaker is named the sixth director.