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Barbara Lee Senior Center offers Saturday hours during new pilot program

It was 2010 when the Barbara Lee Senior Center opened its doors for the first time. 

For over a decade now, the center has offered a welcoming environment for seniors (age 50 and over) to socialize, have lunch, work out, take a class, or engage in a friendly game of ping pong. 

The vibrant, lively community cultivated by the Barbara Lee Senior Center over the years makes the facility a true Milpitas gem. 

Now, for the first time ever, the senior center’s opening its doors on Saturdays, from 9am-12pm. The move is part of a new Pilot Program, which the majority of the Milpitas City Council voted to launch during a meeting in January. 

On Saturday, September 10, the program had an official kickoff event, complete with complimentary food, dance classes, and other special programming. 


The team (City of Milpitas staff and Senior Advisory Commissioners) responsible for making the pilot program kick-off run smoothly. Photo from the Facebook page of Evelyn Chua (who is fourth from the left, at the top).


Councilmember Evelyn Chua, whose idea it was to open the center on weekends, was thrilled by all the enthusiasm on hand.  

“I’m really happy about this program,” said Councilmember Chua in an interview with The Beat. 

Years ago, when her daughter was little and Chua had to work, Chua’s mother would spend weekdays taking care of the child. As a result, Chua’s mom only had free time on weekends. And since the senior center was not open on weekends, it wasn’t an option for her. 


Seniors playing ping pong at this past Saturday’s kick-off event.


“I always thought that it would be great to have the senior center open for those seniors who can’t go on weekdays,” said Chua. “At least, for now, they’ll have a half-day on Saturdays that they can go. That was my motivation for proposing this.”

Melba Holliday has sat on the Senior Advisory Commission since the year the center opened. She was present this past Saturday, welcoming guests, answering questions, and directing people to various activities. In an interview, Holliday mentioned to The Beat how seniors who have tried other centers in various cities hold a special place for the center in Milpitas. 

“I always hear from attendees that they think Milpitas has the best one,” Holliday said.  

The center’s regular hours are from 8:30am-4:30pm, Monday through Friday. The Pilot Program will continue every Saturday until November 19. After it’s over, the City will assess the results and consider the possibility of offering permanent weekend hours.

You can find more information about the Barbara Lee Senior Center through the City of Milpitas website.




Rhoda Shapiro
Rhoda Shapiro
Rhoda Shapiro is the winner of a 2022 Golden Quill Award for her Education journalism. She works as a journalist and media consultant in the Bay Area. She has written for both the Tri-City Voice and the Mercury News, and is the founder of Chi Media Company, which works mostly with nonprofit organizations and educational entities to elevate their marketing and communication platforms. Rhoda is also the author of “Fierce Woman: Wake up your Badass Self” and “Magic Within: Womb-Centered Wisdom to Realize the Power of Your Sacred Feminine Self.” Her YouTube channel features practices in yoga, meditation, and women’s empowerment. Rhoda is The Milpitas Beat’s Founder and Editor-in-Chief.


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