|Carol Renee Howell at Holy Family on Monday working on activities|
Senior services at Holy Family Senior Citizen Center have resumed thanks to a collaborative effort between the Apalachicola Board of City Commissioners and Franklin’s Promise Coalition.
Wakulla County Senior Citizens Council, Inc., was designated the lead agency to provide home based senior services throughout all of Franklin County, through a contract with the Area Agency on Aging for Northwest Florida. All funded through the Florida Department of Elder Affairs to provide home based services, such as home healthcare and meals-on-wheels.
Because of Wakulla’s designation, the City of Apalachicola enter into a separate agreement with the organization to provide only senior activities and congregate meals at Holy Family, in exchange for free use of the facility along with utilities, phone and Internet.
However, during the latter part of December 2015, Wakulla, without communicating anything to the city, abruptly abandoned their agreement with the city. It was later learned that they had also abandoned their contract as lead agency to provide senior services throughout all of Franklin County.
Realizing the city’s dilemma, instead of complaining or assigning blame, both normal human reactions. Franklin’s Promise Coalition approached the city to help find a solution to restore senior services at Holy Family.
At the city commission regular monthly meeting held March 8, City Administrator Lee Mathes told commissioners that thanks to Franklin’s Promise, starting Monday, March 14, Holy Family would be open 5-days per week, Monday thru Friday, from 11:00am – 2:00pm, and that senior activities would resume and a hot congregate meal would be served each day for seniors visiting the center.
Mathes also told the commission that activities planned for seniors included visual journaling, photography, pottery, music and that the city would expend $2,500 to set up a seven station computer lab for use by the seniors. Mathes noted that activities would be adjusted based on input from participates that attend the center. She also reported that congregate meals would be planned in conjunction with a certified nutritionist with the UF/IFAS program. Mathis concluded that Franklin’s Promise also agreed to deliver food bi-weekly from their food pantry to forty-one homebound seniors.
This is the sort of response to a potential community crisis that make Apalachicola such a great place to live, work and play.