News about MSN, seniors in the Bay Area, and our board members. If you are interested in joining us for more events, please join us at our monthly meetings. We have monthly meetings on every fourth Monday of the month at the Fremont Senior Center (40086 Paseo Padre Parkway) from 11 AM to 2 PM. Please refer to the meeting schedule, which has the exact meeting dates for the entire year and a summary of activities planned for the meeting, below.

Entire Article linked here.
Muslim Support Network (MSN) held a literary event for seniors on February 28, at the Senior Citizen Center of Fremont, CA. Fifteen people participated in the event with the presentation of popular poetry of prominent poets. Among those who participated in the hour-long session were: Ab- dul Razzak Adenwala, Abdus Sattar Ghazali, Dr. Ghazala Ansari, Firdus Kamran, Hatem Rani, Ibrahim Khatri, Ibrahim Sharif, Khalil Ansari, Major Ashraf Naeem, Meraj Sultana Ghazali, Shahid Iqbal and Tasadduq Attari. Poet Haider Shabih spoke about Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s great contri- bution to the education of the Muslims of the sub-continent. He also amused the audience with the recitation of a ghazal. Poet Shahid Barni thrilled the audience with his humorous poems. Elderly Firoza Khalil stole the show with her presentation of a Naat. Abdul Razzak Adenwala was the MC of the program. He also presented a ghazal in his melodious voice. At the end, Zeya Mohsin (popu- larly known as Zeby), co-founder of the MSN and a prominent social ac- tivist of the Bay Area, thanked the participants and audience for making the program successful. The MSN was founded in November 2005 to provide an opportuni- ty to Muslim senior citizens to social- ize. Needs of Muslim elders/seniors are not being met by our community at large as many of the elders were homebound and encountered.
State senator names Moina Shaiq Woman of the Year
By Matthew Artz, STAFF WRITER
Fremont Argus, March 17, 2008

Press Release from Senator Corbett's office FREMONT — It’s not easy keeping up with Moina Shaiq.

One day after state Sen. Ellen Corbett named the 49-year-old Fremont resident Woman of the Year, she was up at the crack of dawn, attending a fundraising breakfast for the Tri-City Homeless Coalition, which she serves as vice president. [at right, the Press Release from Senator Corbett’s office].

From there, it was off to a volunteer event at the Fremont Senior Center, followed by a visit to Kaiser hospital, where she has started a program to make sure hospital workers are meeting the spiritual and material needs of Muslim patients.

And finally, she escorted her daughter’s Girl Scout troop to a local animal hospital to help them earn a pet-care badge.

“I’m so totally booked,” Shaiq said. “I have to look at my planner every morning — and again twice a day — so I don’t forget anything.”

Shaiq has received most of her accolades for her work with the Muslim Support Network, an elder support group, which she co-founded, but Shaiq also has ties to several other local nonprofits: She is a board member of the Washington Hospital Foundation and the Fremont Alliance for a Hate Free Community. She also chairs Fremont’s Human Relations Commission and is a volunteer driver for the American Cancer Society.

“Moina is an incredible woman who has dedicated her life to her family and community,” Corbett said in a prepared statement. “She is an inspiration to so many people.” [below, Moina with Senator Ellen Corbett]

Moina with Senator Ellen Corbett

Shaiq said she was humbled by the award, and especially pleased that, to her knowledge, it’s the first time a Muslim has received it.

Shaiq grew up in Pakistan, and came to the United States with her husband, Mohammad, as a 19-year-old. After five years in Florida, the couple moved to Fremont, and eventually started a computer sales business.

She left the family business in 1998 to care for her four children, but soon began making time for community groups as well.

She started the Muslim Support Network after seeing how her mother suffered from isolation and depression living in Atlanta. The nonprofit helps Muslim seniors access social services and socialize with their peers.

All volunteer work and no income has dented the family’s pocketbook from time to time, but Shaiq said she can’t give it up.

“I feel so much satisfaction doing this work,” she said. “I can’t just drop the ball on everything, because it’s so worthwhile.” [below, Moina with Lt. Governor Garamendi]

Moina with Lt. Governor Garamendi

Fremont reporter Matthew Artz can be reached at 510-353-7002 or
By Chris De Benedetti, STAFF WRITER
Fremont Argus, March 11, 2007

Ask and the senior community receives.

That has been the pattern between the Human Services Department and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which has awarded another grant the city of Fremont plans to use for senior services.

The “Fresh Ideas” grant is the third in less than three years that Fremont has received from the New Jersey-based foundation, which describes itself as the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health care.

Fremont council members on Tuesday formally accepted the $300,000 grant.

City officials say they plan to spend that money during the next two years. They plan to train volunteers to provide support to members of faith-based and cultural organizations, such as:

  • Muslim Support Network
  • Centerville Presbyterian Church
  • Taiwanese Senior Association
  • India Community Center
  • Sikhs Engaged in Volunteer Activities
  • Stanford Geriatric Education Center
The effort is called the Community Ambassador Program for Seniors, an offshoot of the city’s Senior Action Plan, also funded by a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant.

Volunteers from the local cultural groups will help seniors within their own community learn how to better access services, especially for aging adults who may not know about Fremont’s wide range of programs.

“The challenge is that seniors often don’t know about the services,” said Mary Anne Mendall, administrator of the Human Services Department. “Some don’t speak English, or they might be physically isolated. It can be tricky to navigate the system.”

Some of the services already offered by the city include paratransit to help seniors get around town; home visits to help them exercise, socialize or do chores; programs to assist family caregivers; and advice on filling out Medicare forms or choosing a prescription drug plan.

People can learn more about these services by calling the Senior Help Line at (510) 574-2041. Information is available in English, Farsi, Mandarin and Spanish, Mendall said.

“It’s taking the front door directly to seniors where they actually congregate — in their churches and cultural centers,” she said.

In 2004, the city of Fremont and the city-funded Tri-City Elder Coalition received funds from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to develop a plan for long-term care and services for local at-risk seniors. Two years later, the city and the coalition received a grant totaling $750,000 with the goal of implementing that plan.

Staff writer Chris De Benedetti covers Fremont issues. Contact him at (510) 353-7002 or
by Wes Bowers
Fremont Bulletin, March 8, 2007

City of Fremont’s Human Services Department received $300,000 in grants that will improve information access and referral services for senior citizens, it was announced at Tuesday’s Fremont City Council meeting.

The grant, to be distributed over the next two years, was awarded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a philanthropic group devoted to improving the health and healthcare of Americans.

City council unanimously approved the grant’s acceptance.

The grant was awarded to Fremont’s Human Services Department as part of the foundation’s Fresh Ideas Initiative.

The grant, according to staff reports, will fund additional work to implement a Senior Action Plan developed by Human Services and the foundation in recent years.

It will provide training, funding and technical support to cultural and faith-based organizations to enable them to offer information and referral services in their respective communities.

The city’s Human Services Department is planning to partner with six community ethnic and faith organizations to enact a Community Ambassador Program for Seniors.

Partners in the program include Muslim Support Network, Centerville Presbyterian Church, the Taiwanese Senior Association, India Community Center, Sikhs Engaged in Volunteer Activities, and the Stanford Geriatric Education Center, staff reports state.

Volunteers from these groups will then learn how to access service information, identify eligibility requirements and link seniors to services.

Reports state that success will be determined by an increased number of vulnerable seniors linked to services and successful sustainability of the program.

“CAPS will build capacity to serve seniors in their own communities, in their own language, with their own cultural norm,” Human Services Administrator Mary Anne Mendall said. “And it will also do so where seniors live, where they worship, socialize and learn.”

Mendall said many Fremont seniors aren’t served by current senior services for a number of reasons, including lack of knowledge about what is available to them.

Additionally, seniors are physically isolated or unable to benefit from services, she said.

Also, language and cultural barriers make attaining senior services difficult for some, Mendall said.

Under the CAPS program, Mendall said each participating group would hire a site coordinator and recruit 10 volunteers.

City staff will then train the site coordinator and volunteers to provide information and resources to seniors.

They will then meet on a regular basis to share results and ideas.

In 2004, City of Fremont partnered with the Tri-City Elder Coalition, and became one of 11 sites nationwide to receive a planning grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to develop a comprehensive Senior Action Plan.

The Senior Action Plan was aimed to improve long-term care and supportive services for at-risk older adults in the Tri-City area.

Last year, the partnership was one of eight sites awarded a four-year implementation grant of $750,000.

“It’s not really an accident that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation finds friends in Fremont,” Mayor Bob Wasserman said. “In California, counties typically finance social services. In Fremont, we decided many years ago to take that on to any extent we could, and we have.”

Councilwoman Anu Natarajan said she hoped that the program would not segregate Fremont seniors in the long run.

“I think it’s a tremendous amount of effort that’s gone into structuring this,” she said. “The one thing I would like to make sure as we move forward is that it doesn’t create a silo effect of each community having to take care of its own set of seniors, and that it becomes a more integrated program.”