FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Fort Worth city leaders are cutting property tax rates, but not everyone’s happy with the new budget.
It seems that the funding for seniors is coming up short for their growth needs.
At the Handley-Meadowbrook Community Center you’ll find a group of seniors who consider this place a home.
“It’s like coming in to family”, says Ted Willis, a 70-year-old widower. “This gets us out. Give us plenty to do.”
Like many of his friends he depends on the centers resources daily, but the help offered here may be in jeopardy.
Out of a new 1.7-billion-dollar budget approved by the city, only an extra $40,000 are set to go into the 13 senior citizen centers across Fort Worth, making the total amount allocated $120,000.
Mr. Willis has become an advocate for better senior funding.
“It’s a drop in the bucket.”, Willis says.
Some days the community center serves up to 1,000 seniors and their biggest need is staffing.
Currently there are 13 senior centers throughout Fort Worth an none have any full time workers. They are all staffed by a part-time center director who many times has split his or her time between several centers.
“What it really means is I can hire three people for 6 months and then lay them off.”, comments Jerry Mosman, Executive Director of Senior Citizen Services of Greater Tarrant County.
Officials at the City of Fort Worth tell CBS11 that they will assess the services and needs of this community.
They could make adjustments sometime in the first quarter of next year. Mosman is hopeful they’ll get greater consideration then.
“The challenge is that seniors need transit to get here, senior’s need socialization. Seniors need all this kind of support to age in place.” says Mosman.
And the need they say has never been greater.
Willis says, “We’re active, we are not our grandparents. We live 20 years or more longer.”
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