The house Na Bělidle 34 in Prague 5 was supposed to serve senior citizens from 2015 but the services offered failed to attract much attention of the target population. When the City Hall stopped subsidizing the facility, the operator defaulted on the rent. City Councilors Milena Johnová and Jan Chabr therefore terminated the contract. The project has now resumed following a new selection procedure. Elpida, a well-established non-profit organization whose courses have been attended by more than 60 thousand elderly people, has opened a new community center for senior citizens at the address, offering educational and cultural activities.
The city wanted to preserve services for the target group. Elpida, a non-governmental organization that has extensive experience with working with the elderly and offers a wide portfolio of services, was selected in a tender to operate the center. A new Na Bělidle center has opened this month.
Its predecessor, run by Senioři ČR association, was frequented by few people. Random inspections which were carried out from 2018 discovered not only that the center was frequented by very few people but also that it admits only registered members. In response, the city stopped subsidizing the center because of ineffective use of the funds, after which the operator failed to pay the rent.
“We held talks repeatedly and suggested that the tenant change the business model and open the building to other organizations. However, the tenant rejected all changes, defaulted on the rent, and we consequently terminated the contract. Our aim is to find a long-term tenant whose activities will truly benefit senior citizens,” explains City Councilor Jan Chabr who is responsible for municipal asset management. The City Hall subsequently called a public tender and selected Elpida as the winner.
Elpida is currently looking for funding options to finance necessary construction works and refurbishment. Today, the organization launched a crowdfunding campaign where it details its plans. Anyone can now contribute to converting the old school for a new purpose. To find out more about the campaign, see here: https://hithit.cz/elpida.