By Lillian Palmer
Staff Writer 

Golden hour faces funding problems

 


An update from the Golden Hour Senior Center at Tuesday’s city council meeting revealed the center is in a time of need.

The center’s attendance is at an all-time high, their meal count is up, classes and activities they provide is up, seniors they serve are up, low-income seniors serviced is up, but funding from the state legislature is down.

During the Wyoming Legislature’s session in February, the Wyoming tax refund for elderly and disabled programs was cut.

“We know that we served at least 90 people that received some kind of a little rebate,” Golden Hour director Sheela Schermetzler said.

Some seniors have told Schermetzler they use it to purchase Christmas gifts because the rebate comes in November.

“That’s really going to affect our low-income seniors,” she said.

Another program that was cut Schermetzler said will affect the seniors is the Low Income Energy Assistance Program. The program helps to provide fuel, electricity, and other necessities for low-income residents, seniors and non-seniors alike.

“That program was cut by 60 percent,” she said. “We feel we’re going to have some impact from that as the new year comes along.”

The center is very busy, Schermetzler said. The center provides seniors with daily and weekly activities and fitness classes to stay active. They provide social events for seniors, and more. The center’s ever-popular weekday lunches brings in a crowd daily.


Last year, the center served 30,000 meals. Of those meals, over 9,600 of them were home delivered meals.

Most days, the center’s volunteers deliver about 50 lunches to seniors in their homes. The number of home-delivered meals the center serves has risen, Schermetzler said.

“That’s telling me that more and more people need the services and more and more people are trying to stay in their home, instead of going to a very expensive convalescent center or assisted living center,” she said.

Schermetzler said that is the center’s purpose; to keep people in their homes.

“We are really bound by the older Americans act to try and keep our people socialized, well-feed and nourished, and to try to keep them in their home,” she said. “We work very hard at that.”

 

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