MOUNT VERNON — Organizations providing services to seniors, ranging from hot meals each weekday and transportation to wellness activities and gifts of hand-made sewn items, received their annual distributions of funding Tuesday from Knox County Commissioners.
Funding for these service-driven organizations comes from a 0.79-mil senior levy. Commissioners’ President Teresa Bemiller explained that all of the organizations are highly worthy of the money received, but offered that with funding down a bit from last year they could not accommodate entire amounts requested.
Last year a total of $1.09 million was available because there was a carry-over balance of close to $50,000. This year available funds are $1.03 million with no carry-over funds to draw from, while adding that the funds provided to each organization could be lessened in the fourth quarter of this year if full property taxes owed to the county are not collected on time.
“They are getting most of what they requested,” Bemiller said, noting that she and fellow commissioners Thom Collier and Bill Pursel received highly detailed forms from each organization. Forms outlined how their money was spent last year and how it will again be this year.
The Station Break at 160 Howard St. in Mount Vernon received the most funds at nearly $550,000, the same amount as last year after requesting $600,000. The organization provides numerous services such as on-site lunch meals at its Howard Street location, up to 100 seniors each weekday, while also providing more than 30 home-delivered meals to those ages 60 and over. Meals come with a requested donation. Those receiving home-delivered meals can also request frozen meals that provide nutrition through the weekend. The Station Break also provides medical transportation with a suggested donation and a weekly shopping day as a group for those who need to go to the store. An Activity Program offers socialization trips, two per month, while also offering a homemaker service that provides basic housekeeping — once or twice a month — for a nominal charge.
Sanctuary Community Action, which serves eastern Knox County, received the amount it asked for, $164,648. Based out of Danville United Methodist Church, the program provides home-delivered meals with a suggested donation. More than 15,600 meals were distributed last year to 118 seniors. The program also provides basic housekeeping services to 29 seniors.
Fredericktown Senior Activity Center, emphasizing senior wellness, social and recreational activities, received $48,470 after requesting $53,000. There is an active Silver Sneakers Program coordinated by an activities director and recreational activities like card games are well attended. Physical activities such as basketball, dance and cornhole make use of a gym where attendance increased 25 percent to 2,813 gym clients. Overall there were close to 7,900 clients served, an increase of 20 percent over the previous year.
The Danville-based Sew Special Needs Network requested $15,000 and received $12,838. The sewing network donates hand-made items to seniors to make their lives easier and works in cooperation with Meals on Wheels. It employs two part-time employees and relies on volunteers to make items with a personal touch. Health-related items are also provided. About 20 seniors received items per week, amounting to more than 1,000 for the year.
This story was updated on Thursday, March 14 to include the following corrected paragraph:
Knox County Jobs & Family Services received $69,828 in Adult Protective Services program funding after requesting $100,000 from commissioners. The program investigates elder abuse cases. JFS will use the funds to enter into an agreement with the Ohio District 5 Area Agency on Aging, which is to provide Adult Protective Services for JFS starting April 1 for a period of one year. JFS is paying $82,000 for the service agreement, covered by the $69.828 received from commissioners and with the rest of the amount needed coming from state funds taken in by JFS.