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Funding to increase for senior services

Photo by: Brendan Sullivan Herman Franklin, 75, reaches to take a shot while playing pool with about ten men at the Lawrenceville Senior Center on Friday. Last week commissioners approved a new senior services plan which will increase the governments funding for local senior centers.

Photo by: Brendan Sullivan Herman Franklin, 75, reaches to take a shot while playing pool with about ten men at the Lawrenceville Senior Center on Friday. Last week commissioners approved a new senior services plan which will increase the governments funding for local senior centers.

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Photo by: Brendan Sullivan Theresa Willis, 66, laughs with Emily Finocchio, 88, left, while playing a game of Canasta at the Lawrenceville Senior Center on Friday. Last week commissioners approved a new senior services plan which will increase the governments funding for local senior centers.

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Photo by: Brendan Sullivan Richard Hubbell, 81, shoots some pool along side of Isaac Meares, 63, with eight other men at the Lawrenceville Senior Center on Friday. Last week commissioners approved a new senior services plan which will increase the governments funding for local senior centers.

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Photo by: Brendan Sullivan Shirley Rawls, 77, left, Emily Finocchio, 88, center, and Theresa Willis, 66, play a game of Canasta at the Lawrenceville Senior Center on Friday. Last week commissioners approved a new senior services plan which will increase the governments funding for local senior centers.

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett is graying.

It's a fact that Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash is all too aware of, since she celebrated her 60th birthday last month.

But with a 91 percent increase in people 60 and older recorded between the 2000 and 2010 Census, the good news is the county can count on a significant increase in federal funds for services for seniors.

Commissioners approved a new senior services plan last week that not only increases the government's capacity to serve meals and increase transportation services but also to open a satellite senior program at the Centerville community center.

"That's good news for us," Jamie Cramer, the manager of senior services, said during a presentation to commissioners last month of the $397,500 in increased funding the county is expecting during the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1.

In 2000, Gwinnett had 46,216 residents who were age 60 and older, compared to 88,041 in 2010.

While exact comparisons are not available, county officials said home-delivered meals have increased from 84,596 in 2006 to 96,552 in 2012 and meals served at county senior centers increased from 32,605 to 50,890. Calls from residents requesting assistance and information increased from 13,144 to 19,600 over the same seven year time frame.

With the new funding, which brings the total to more than $1.5 million including state and local matches, the county is expected to deliver another 17,500 meals a year. That adds 70 more seniors to the program, but doesn't cover all of the 200 on the waiting list.

The increase also allows for 4,000 more one-way passenger trips for medical-related appointments and allows the county to set up a volunteer transportation initiative, which could help more seniors find rides.

Nash initially expressed concern about the expanded service, since people from rural areas have objected to the shift of money away from their communities. But she said officials have set up a plan to cut back if any reductions come, including from the sequestration cuts approved by Congress.

"I have no question about the need for these type of services," Nash said. "I'm excited about the prospect that the funding is being equalized."

Cramer said leaders are also making plans to make sure the seniors of diverse backgrounds are taken care of, since the census also revealed a need for help with Spanish-, Korean- and Chinese-speakers.

Comments

BuzzG 1 year, 1 month ago

"the good news is the county can count on a significant increase in federal funds for services for seniors." And where do the federal funds come from?

I guess Cammy thinks that "federal funds" are like manna from heaven. The lord (Barak Obama) sends it and we just gather it up and eat it. Not one hint in the article that the federal funds will either be paid for by working people or borrowed from the Chinese to be paid back by future generations.

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Why_not 1 year, 1 month ago

This program will provide extremely important services to our seniors....many of who would not have any means of transportation to and from medical appointments otherwise. I Am not sure how anyone could not be for this program and what is does.

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R 1 year, 1 month ago

Because every program starts off providing needed services that's good for someone, but as a nation the Fed ( Read US) is 16 TRILLION under water...

Perhaps we can trade the funding spent on studying the underground sex life of potatoes and move it here.

The magic of line item budgets at work.

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JHogan 1 year, 1 month ago

I've read any number of comments which evince a lack of understanding of how modern monetary systems work. May I suggest that that this book is the best exposition of how money actually works in today's world.

http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Modern-Money-Employment-Stability/dp/1845429419/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1362969041&sr=1-1&keywords=Understanding+modern+money

We aren't on a hard money system anymore and haven't been since 1971. That was over 40 years ago, but there are still comments made which make reference to some mythical amount of "money" that will be diluted if we were to create more of it.

Then there are the comments which refer to the "deficit" as if it were some huge dragon, about to eat us all. Lookit folks: The US debt is denominated in dollars, which the US can issue in huge (limited only by inflation) quantities. The idea that we might not be able to "borrow" more money is absolutely ludicrous. We really don't have to "borrow" anything if we don't want to in order to create more money. Really!

We have the power to coin our own money. We don't have to "borrow" anything to create more money.

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JHogan 1 year, 1 month ago

If anyone is wondering what the post above has to do with this thread, please note that 2 of the 3 previous comments were about economic reasons why this service to seniors is objectionable.

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jack 1 year, 1 month ago

I say have the Fed print up enough money and give every man, woman, and child a few million.

There would then be no need for programs like this one.

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Kent 1 year, 1 month ago

My question is, what have all these poor old seniors done all their life to make sure they can be self sufficient in their older years. It is all about decisions they made earlier which would have made them financially secure. Just because you are old does not entitle you to rob me just because I made the right decisions. Their lack of planning and sacrifice does not give them special rights to lessen my financial well being. Oh-let the children get all of grannys and grandpas assets in the childrens name so the children can get all the goodies and the taxpayers can pay for the old folks home, entertainment, and medical expenses. Then you have a Republican BOC who loves to buy geezer votes with taxpayer money. Shame on them and all you old farts who are all for increasing funding to the welfare state of Gwinnett county.

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Why_not 1 year, 1 month ago

Spoken by a typical TEApublican as usual. Another"I got mine and I am not worried about anyone else" attitude. I can live on my retirement and be very comfortable, but I realize that not everyone is in the same situation. The dwindling few that remain of the "greatest generation" deserve our consideration.

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kevin 1 year, 1 month ago

Why does the county need Federal funds for such nonsense? Please tell us what strings are attached to this money.

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Why_not 1 year, 1 month ago

Nonsense? What a pathetic remark.

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Kat 1 year, 1 month ago

Where I am from the senior center was the local coffe shop and church sponsored events.

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SurelyNot 1 year, 1 month ago

This is great news for seniors. They need real help in all the counties so they can be independent as long as possible. Independence comes in the form of accessible transportation, meals on wheels, and places to go that help them maintain cognitive function as high as possible.

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Why_not 1 year, 1 month ago

I agree totally. This program makes a Lot more sense than endless tax loopholes for wealthy corporations and tax subsidies for oil companies.

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