The story of North/Eastside Senior Coalition, or NESCO, began on February 14, 1975 with the signing of the Articles of Incorporation. At first, we were called The Near East Side Coalition of Older Adults, until 1995 when it was changed to our current name.
Our initial location was at Immanuel Lutheran Church on Spaight Street. NESCO has relocated quite a few times throughout the years. We moved into Lapham School in 1979, relocated to Sherman School in 1990, and moved to the Washington Square Building in 1992. In 1999, NESCO moved to its current location at the Warner Park Community Recreation Center, and made Suite 125 our home.
In the beginning NESCO’s staff consisted of a few outreach workers who helped spread the word about different groups and activities for older adults happening in the community. It soon became evident that the older adults needed more resources than Bingo games and book clubs. In the 1980’s the demand for NESCO’s outreach workers began to grow. NESCO hired social workers to assist and advocate for older adults on an individualized basis to help them access housing, social security , health benefits, transportation, medication management, nutritional meals, help with home chores and much more. Today our case managers provide ongoing services for 280 older adults annually.
In 1991 the City of Madison dedicated funding to help serve Spanish speaking older adults in the city and NESCO was asked to coordinate the program. A couple years later Dane County asked NESCO to coordinate a cultural diversity program for African American seniors and Spanish speaking older adults throughout Dane county. These programs provide discussion and support groups on health, safety and socialization to increase community involvement and decrease isolation. Our cultural diversity program has grown from a couple dozen participants to over 300 older adults annually.
In 1993, NESCO started offering programs in anticipation of moving into the Warner Park Community Recreation Center.
NESCO began managing nutrition sites in 1996 at three locations. Bashford United Methodist Church, St. Paul Lutheran Church, and Wil-Mar Neighborhood.
When NESCO moved into the Warner Park Community Recreation Center they began a new nutrition site there, and it replace the St. Paul Lutheran Church dining site.
In 1986, the Home Chore volunteer program began. It was created to help low-income senior adults with basic home chores to stay living
independently in their home by matching them with a volunteer.
NESCO has hosted many special events and fundraisers throughout the years, including a garage sale, cookie sale, summer concert series, AppleFest, senior health fair, senior prom, caregiver fair, and black tie bingo.