Advisory Council Roster:
On April 1, 2020, Life Essentials officially became a program of Catholic Social Services.
Life Essentials started in 1987 as a volunteer-driven agency called Chums and Choices. More than 30 years later, Life Essentials was providing advocacy services in Montgomery and Greene Counties to enable seniors and people living with mental illness to have a greater quality of life.
When Life Essentials’ Executive Director Linda Roepken announced her retirement to her Board of Directors, they decided to take a strategic look at the organization’s future. With the help of a consultant, they concluded that the best option would be to identify a partner organization that would be a good mission fit.
“We were one of several agencies approached by Life Essentials to discuss the possibility of a merger,” said Catholic Social Services CEO Laura Roesch. “It quickly became apparent that there was an obvious fit. We already serve more than a thousand low-income seniors every year to help them age in place, so adding guardianship and advocacy is well within our mission and service model. With Life Essentials’ Chums program, our agency will also be adding a new focus on those age 50 or older who are living with mental illness.”
The Life Essentials Advisory Council includes individuals who were part of the organization’s Board of Directors.