Weirton senior center needs support
For years, the Greater Weirton Senior Center has been a cornerstone of the community.
It provides services for hundreds of our community’s older residents, serving meals, offering socialization with their peers, enjoy games and other activities, and much more.
But, without new means of support and a steady flow of revenue, the senior center is facing un uncertain future.
Center officials approached members of Weirton Council last week to request assistance from the city. They noted that as an “independent” senior center, meaning one not directly affiliated with any of West Virginia’s 55 counties, the Greater Weirton Senior Center doesn’t receive financial support from the Legislature as do the senior services in Hancock and Brooke counties, for example.
For three years, a successful fundraising campaign with support from area businesses was held, helping to fill in some of the gap, but that has come to an end. The Weirton center currently cannot even afford a full-time coordinator, relying on a couple of part-time staff members, board members and other volunteers to make certain everything is addressed.
The senior center board noted the Hancock County Commission has provided some funding in recent years, and the grants which have been available cannot go toward operational expenses. They say $25,000 will help to keep them even, but more will be needed to make sure they are able to stay around for a long time.
City officials, for their part, had suggested looking at other grant opportunities and even including the center in a possible future levy. That would mean incorporating the senior center as part of municipal operations, and increased taxes on the citizens.
While we don’t have the answer to solve this problem, we know something needs to be done and soon. The Greater Weirton Senior Center is an important part of the Weirton community and needs to be preserved.