In 1974 the city of Palm Springs created the first senior center under the auspices of a newly formed Commission on Aging


Aaron "Budd" Mizell, 1909 - 1998

Aaron "Budd" Mizell
1909 - 1998

The Palm Springs Senior Center was opened in 1974 at the former Frances Stevens
School under the auspices of the City of Palm Springs’ Commission on Aging. The Center
was created to fill a gap in programs and services exclusively for seniors. From the
beginning, the Center’s social and recreation opportunities were balanced with
humanitarian community service initiatives. Mizell’s Meals on Wheels program was first
introduced 1982 with volunteers delivering prepared meals to the homes of local
seniors. That program expanded to include the provision to congregate meal sites, such
as other senior center and senior living communities.

By 1985, we were delivering 10,000 meals annually and programming classes and
activities for over 2,000 members. The thriving Center had outgrown its home. Policy
changes within City government resulted in the loss of ongoing funding directed at the
senior community, however, the City was able to offer the Senior Center the use of a
building in Sunrise Park. Under the direction of board president, Ernest Noia, a
remarkable group of people raised funds to remodel and enlarge the building for our
purposes. On March 24, 1991 the Mizell Senior Center was dedicated, so named for
philanthropists Aaron “Bud” Mizell and his wife, Judge Ruth Mizell, whose generosity
was instrumental in the completion of this building.

In the ensuing years, the Mizell Senior Center became an acknowledged leader in active
aging, a welcoming space offering community and kinship for seniors from diverse
backgrounds and life experiences and a lifeline for vulnerable and often isolated seniors
in the community. As the first senior center in the Coachella Valley, existing services
are enhanced by our leadership role as a regional provider of innovative, comprehensive
and evidence-based programs to the senior population.