A Laurelton senior center that serves dozens of elderly men and women each day is in danger of closing due to poor maintenance of the facility, but its director and City Councilman James Sanders (D-Laurelton) are pledging to prevent its demise.
The city Department for the Aging announced it would not renew the contract given to St. Luke’s Cathedral to run the Laurelton Senior Center, at 133-21 232nd St. The center, which serves 40 to 60 clients daily, has had longstanding “facility and management issues,” including broken floors, ceiling and other problems, according to the agency.
Jerome Perry, director of the senior center, said it has been hard to keep the building operating because of the lack of funding and he hoped the city or some other organization could give it another chance.
“I think it’s unfortunate,” he said.
The department said it is looking for another sponsor “to serve the seniors in the community.” Perry said it was essential that his facility remain open because of the important services it offers clients.
The space has been used for everything from providing the seniors with free meals to arts and entertainment and multipurpose events for groups in the area such as Community Board 13. The director, one of the facility’s four staff members, said although the building has been in bad shape, the seniors and civic groups that use his space enjoy the center.
The elected official said he would be in talks with the agency to find a way to give the center another shot.
“We do know that in the city, at this time of financial crisis, everyone must do their fare share, but in my opinion our seniors have done their fare share,” he said.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@c
©2010 Community News Group
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