The Scott County Senior Citizens Center is in danger of closing due to an ongoing budget crisis. (Independent Herald file photo.)
The Scott County Senior Citizens Center is in danger of closing due to an ongoing budget crisis. (Independent Herald file photo.)

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The Scott County Senior Citizens Center could be forced to cut services or close altogether if new funding sources are not realized, the center’s director warned last week.

Kathy Rose, director of the Scott County Senior Center in Oneida, is working to educate the public on the functions of the senior center and its financial woes in an effort to obtain new funding for the center.

“The center has an operational budget that they work diligently to adhere to but more importantly we have for the last few years been surviving mostly on support money from the local hospital and revenue generated by the purchasing of meals prepared on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week,” Rose said.

With the hospital closed since May 2012, there has been no financial support from that end for nearly a year. Recently, the center stopped offering meals on Friday as a way to offset expenses.

“If we as a senior center do not receive additional financial support from various sources, certain services will be eliminated and the center will most assuredly close altogether,” Rose said. “We cannot allow that to happen.”

Not only is the center itself at risk — with more than 100 active members and the 200 that frequent the center — but the Faith Meals program operated by the center could be in jeopardy as well.

“Currently we have very little money at all and like everyone else with bills fast approaching we will soon have no money in our budget for operations, and Faith Meals will need to be discontinued as well,” Rose said.

“The Faith Meals numbers around 30 per day and in some cases are the only nourishment and human contact these individuals receive. So this program alone is a critical life and death reality. These individuals have no one to care for them and no way to get nourishment. Without the center, what will become of these individuals with obvious need?”

Rose said the center “takes exceptional pride in the fact that we have never asked for financial support,” but said it is now necessary to do so.

“We must all band together, united in one accord, as we show our support and appreciation to a place that provides much needed services to our age population of 50 and above,” she said. “Please contact your commissioners, mayors, representatives, senators, congressmen and anyone who will listen and help.”