Hi, my name is Madeline Joyce Hall (she/her). I am 67 years old, and in 1980, I came on vacation to Chicago, and I’ve lived here ever since. My very first Chicago apartment was on Roscoe, right down the street from the Center, although my deep relationship with the Center did not begin until about 5 years ago when I was introduced to the Senior Services team.
I started coming to Senior programming before Center on Addison was established, and the Seniors would meet in John Baran Hall. I’d attended a few classes and programming and, once Center on Addison opened, I became a volunteer.
I’m a doer. I’ve always been one to serve, and my job at the Center feeds that piece of me. I’m part of the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) here — which is a national initiative to get seniors into the community and to give back by serving. My favorite thing about SCSEP is that I’m able to be a part of an operation again. When we retire, a lot of seniors are looking for that regularity of a place to return to and grow. That is something that I and my colleagues in the SCSEP program at Center on Halsted gain. We also have access to training which pushes us further and strengthens us.
The best piece about my time at the Center is that I am able to give back to my community. I always refer to those who come to the receptionist desk as “my clients” because, when they walk through the door, my focus is on making sure they are supported — that they make it to their behavioral health therapy and that they receive the information they need after their HIV test.
It’s exciting that people come to Center on Halsted for help… and the help is here. This is our community, and our Center.
It is important to support Center on Halsted because it is a root to a lot of the resources in this community and in our city at large. When you give to the Center, you give to the clients who walk out of our door and hug me after their HIV screening or GED class. You’re giving to The Spirit of the Center.