Age-Friendly Coastside Half Moon Bay: Engaging Community Voices to Drive Positive Change

Northern California (November 2021 to June 2022)

Project Goal

  • To gather the perspectives and insights of community members about the age friendliness of the Coast
  • To better understand:
    •  Community strengths and supports for Coastside seniors 
    • Unmet needs of Coastside seniors
  • To identify:
    • Projects that can make our community more Age Friendly 
    • Partners we can work with on these projects 


Guiding Question

Take photos of unmet needs and community strengths, and share your suggestions for making the Coastside more age-friendly.

Project Description

The City of Half Moon Bay is situated in the middle of a 27-mile stretch of Pacific coastline in San Mateo County, CA, and is part of the San Francisco Bay Area. Along this coastline, there are a number of farms, state beaches, and unincorporated communities surrounding the city of Half Moon Bay as the primary town where residents come to shop, dine, and attend community events. As a result of the rural nature of this community and limited resources for a robust senior service program by the City of Half Moon Bay, the city lacks focused senior programs or policies. Instead, a non-profit organization known as Senior Coastsiders is the lead organization for the area’s older adult population, partnering with the City of Half Moon Bay, local non-profit organizations, and local community groups to support older adults and disabled residents throughout the region. 

From November 2021 to June 2022, Senior Coastsiders partnered with the Stanford Our Voice initiative to create The Age-Friendly Coastside Coalition with the goal of amplifying and centering community voices to create a more Age-Friendly Half Moon Bay Coastside community. This project initially set out to address the domains of transportation, outdoor spaces and buildings, social participation, and civic participation and employment. 

Population Characteristics

The project featured 89 diverse community members across seventeen focus groups. Their ages ranged from 55 to 93 and included 11 community leaders, 12 Latine/Latinx, 35 Chinese, 3 unhoused, and 43 low-income community members. 

Themes Identified

  • Transportation
  • Housing
  • Civic Participation and Employment
  • Communication and Information 
  • Outdoor Space and Buildings
  • Respect and Social Inclusion
  • Social Participation
  • Health Service and Community Support

Areas for Improvement

  • Narrow roads and aged infrastructure
  • Uneven and cracked roads, making it difficult to walk
  • Lack of connectivity, availability of devices, or technological teaching resources for seniors
  • Emergency services are cost-prohibitive for older adults, especially those on fixed or low incomes
  • Limited and declining availability of bus stops and bus routes
  • Lack of awareness surrounding community events or support services available 

Strengths Identified

  • Abundant community garden spaces
  • Great variety of seated spaces
  • Great availability of bus stops

Activities and Outcomes

The data gathered by the community using the Discovery Tool was used to inform this project’s application to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and become part of the Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. Here are a few of the outcomes and progress generated by the project thus far: 
  • Establishing an oversight group to ensure continued progress and sustainability of the age-friendly initiatives
  • Improving communications about events and community support services for older Coastside adults
  • Forming a Coastside healthcare access advocacy committee to improve access to healthcare on the Coast
  • Hosting workshops to educate the community about affordable housing options on the Coast and how to apply
  • Training local businesses and community organizations to ensure they are age and disability friendly

In addition to these endeavors, the Age Friendly Half Moon Bay Coastside initiative has begun collating the various age-friendly activities that are being carried out by the community groups on the Coast. 

Examples of Key, Actionable Solutions Generated

  • Repairing cracked or dirt paths
  • Widening trails and increasing the availability of benches
  • Improving Poplar Intersection crosswalks
  • Maintaining and increasing the availability of bus stops 
  • Improving bike lanes on Highway 1 and throughout town
  • Adding transportation to Chinese markets
  • Making improvements in onboarding, comfort, and reliability for RediCoast shuttles
  • Update housing to meet ADA and public health standards
  • Create more affordable or subsidized housing that prioritizes local residents on waiting lists
  • Provide more opportunities to be involved in volunteering, employment, and civic engagement
  • Expanding access to WIFI, devices, and technology training
  • Creating centralized resources for local events and other information about Age Friendly domains
  • Increasing emergency preparedness efforts for older adults
  • Emphasizing universal design for building accessibility
  • Creating more opportunities for intergenerational interactions

Project Leads

Funding Source:

  • The Stanford Health Care Community Partnerships

Collaborating Organization(s) / Institutional Partner(s):

  • Senior Coastsiders

Our Voice Impact

"This experience has changed my life.  I see inadequacies everywhere I go as it relates to pedestrian access and safety.  I even stop [at] construction sites to remind them to be considerate of the handicapped in our community.  Thank you all so much for this awareness and empowerment to require change."

~ Pam Jiner, GirlTrek Advocacy Leader, Denver CO