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Our History

Okaloosa Council on Aging, growing one program at a time...

Established in 1971 by a group of concerned citizens, we began by providing home delivered meals to the elderly and handicapped in the community who were no longer able to do for themselves. That group of citizens was able to to acquire a small, federally funded grant called the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and a $10,000 United Way grant to supplement funding for the Meals on Wheels program. 

In 1977 the group contracted for the federally funded Older Americans Act Title III-B program and began providing some in-home services for the elderly. Approximately two years later they signed a contract for the Title III-C congregate meals and Title III-C2 home delivered meals under the Act. This enabled them to operate two small Senior Center/Congregate Meal sites in city owned properties located in Crestview and Valparaiso, Florida. As the new programs grew, the Agency opened a third Meal Site located in the old Island Authority building located on Okaloosa Island.

Under the guidance of the late Ruth Lovejoy, the Agency contracted for the state funded Community Care for the Elder Program, the Weatherization Program, and the LIHEAP energy assistance program. Okaloosa County Council on Aging was asked to implement the pilot program for the state Nursing Home Diversion program. 

In 1981 Mrs. Lovejoy petitioned the Board of County Commissioners to acquire the outdated and vacated Twin Cities Hospital building located in Niceville, Florida. It was her dream to convert the old building into an Adult Congregate Living Facility, known now as an Assisted Living Facility. This would be the first such attempt by a local Council on Aging in the nation. The task took over a year to complete and state legislature provided a small grant for the major renovations. The community assisted by sponsoring rooms and before we knew it, Twin Cities Pavilion began accepting residents. But this was only the beginning...