The roots of GLSS go back to 1960 when a group of concerned senior citizens established the Lynn Council on Aging (“LCOA”). From 1960 to 1975, as the primary recipient of state and federal funds targeted toward people age 65 and older, the Council initiated such services as advocacy, home-delivered meals and nutrition sites, mental health and nursing clinics, adult day health, transportation, outreach, and Senior Center activities.
In 1975, the LCOA was approached by the newly established Massachusetts Department of Elder Affairs to take on the new functions of a federal Area Agency on Aging and MA State Home Care Corporation. The Council accepted this challenge and joined the four other Councils on Aging in Lynnfield, Nahant, Saugus and Swampscott to develop a completely integrated service system for older adults in the Greater Lynn area. To this day, GLSS and the LCOA enjoy a strong partnership and close relationship. The two organizations are co-located at 8 Silsbee Street—the only such arrangement of its kind in the state.
Since its incorporation in 1976, GLSS had a major impact on the City of Lynn and its economic development. In its earliest years, GLSS employed a few dozen people. Twenty years later, that number had grown to 264. Today, GLSS employs close to 700 trained staff.
Throughout its history, GLSS has been a leader, innovator, and pioneer. Among its many achievements, the Agency was awarded its first contract with the MBTA in 1993 to provide transportation services for the North Service Area of “The RIDE”—the state’s critical para-transit service for people living with disabilities. GLSS remains the only non-profit of its kind to provide this service in the state. The agency currently has a fleet of more than 300 vehicles.
Now, for more than 40 years, GLSS has responded to the changing needs of older adults, providing a continuum of community health and human services to help people maintain their independence, safely and with dignity, and to live in the community settings of their choice for as long as possible. This mission is accomplished by providing access to services through information and referral; home care services; nutrition programs; transportation; mobility management; housing supports; clinical and protective services; programs designed to promote consumer engagement and better health and well-being; and a number of new initiatives aimed at creating stronger, more livable communities for all.