The Fallbrook Senior Center evolved from a civic group called the Senior Citizens Service Club (SCSC) founded in 1973. The Senior Citizens Service Club started in a little small old building at the site of the present day Christian Church with 50 members who paid the $2 dues per year. Tom Owen was a retired electrical engineer from McDonnell Douglas Corporation who founded and became the first president of SCSC in 1973. He was a volunteer who felt compelled to help people. Owen organized transportation services for seniors and others who needed it. He started an employment referral service. Through volunteers and donations, Owen began organizing meals for seniors. Ed Matta became the chairman of the Nutrition Committee. One of the volunteers delivered meals to a few selected people who could not attend in person (Meals on Wheels). This eventually, by 1979, became the Nutrition Center. To help with fundraising, Tom Owen incorporated the Fallbrook Senior Citizens Service Center as a charitable 501c(3) on June 17, 1974.
Incorporating gave the SCSC better opportunities to apply for County grants and other funding sources. The Senior Citizens Service Club became the parent organization of the Senior Center at 1189 E. Mission Rd and the Nutrition Center at 125 W. Hawthorne St. Tom Owen began agitating for a Fallbrook Community Center that might one day be a place where the Senior Center, the Nutrition Center and other services could be co-located.
The following is the Time line of the Fallbrook Senior Center. Dates refer to Fallbrook Enterprise newspaper editions.
Jan. 18 1973: Tom Owen is 1st president of the Fallbrook Senior Citizens Service Club, which has 108 members and meets monthly at Assembly of God Church at Pico & Alvarado. Club dues are $2.
Jan. 18 1973: Senior Citizens Service Club (SCSC) proposes a pilot program to Fallbrook High School cafeteria providing daily 10 or more low cost hot meals to needy seniors. The SCSC will pay the 75 cents per meal and SCSC volunteers will distribute the meals. Ed Matta is named chairman of SCSC Nutrition Committee. SCSC raises donations to pay program costs.
February 15, 1973 “Meals On Wheels” a 6-week pilot project is approved by school district trustees.
September 13, 1973 High School agrees to continue the “Fallbrook Mobile Meal” program for needy seniors with local church donations covering cost of meals & Senior Citizens Club volunteers delivering them.
January 10, 1974 Senior Citizens Service Club discusses direction of Mobile Meals program, Club incorporation proceedings, transportation, housing, and nutrition issues.
June 17, 1974 Fallbrook Senior Citizens Service Club incorporates as a 501(c)3. This allows the organization to receive County grant funds. SCSC receives a Grant of $15,315 for 9 months.
October 1, 1974 A small office for the Senior Citizens Information & Referral Center opens at 619 E. Alvarado. Will Morrison is Director. There is no space for senior activities.
January 30, 1975 Ben Small, a volunteer, becomes an unpaid Assistant Director at Center, providing advice or referrals regarding income tax, Medicare, and Social Security,.
January 1, 1976 John White is now President of Senior Citizens Service Club. Senior Center director Will Morrison reports the Information & Referral Center had 5,000 visitors in 1975.
March 18, 1976 “Mobile-Meals” are now prepared by Grace Parker’s Rest Home for SCSC volunteer distribution. Church donations provide the funding.
1979: The Nutrition Center is now located at 125 W. Hawthorne St. and under Phyllis Jacobson it served an average of 75-80 meals daily in 1979, catered by a local restaurant.
January 17, 1980 Don Dussault is now President of Senior Citizens Service Club, the parent organization of both the Senior Center and the Nutrition Center.
- Jim Maclean is Director of Senior Center now located at 1189 E. Mission Rd.
- Jewell Langer becomes manager of Nutrition Center at 125 W. Hawthorne St. Nutrition Center is getting closer to the ultimate goal of preparing its own meals
- Kathy Gustavison, working with North County Transit District becomes Public Transportation Chairperson for Senior Citizens Service Club.
- Dussault says goal is to combine these Senior Citizens Service Club operations on a section of the future Community Center grounds.
January 15, 1981: President Don Dussault says Senior Citizens Service Club now has about 850 members.
- Jewell Langer manager of Nutrition Center at 125 W. Hawthorne St. served over 100 meals daily in 1980 still catered by a local restaurant.
April 30, 1981: Community Center opens.
June 1981 Nutrition Center moves from old Baptist Church to new Community Center and prepares its own meal with a new cooking staff.
Senior Center is still located at 1189 E. Mission Rd
July 18, 1985: County Board of Supervisors approve a new Fallbrook Senior Center of 5,000 square feet to be built on Community Center grounds for $450,000.
- Joslyn Foundation grants 150,000; Balance of $401,000 to be funded in Community bloc grants from County.
January 8, 1987 Ground broken for Senior Center on the corner of Heald Ln and Fallbrook Street
July 1987: Senior Center opens. Dedication is July 10th, but staff has been setting up for a month.