Fix-it program saved
Thanks to the community outcry and the Board of Supervisors, the Area 4 Agency on Aging learned the Fix-it Program is a needed service that is successfully helping seniors age in their own home. Therefore, the program will not completely cease but will be able to continue under a different program description. It isn’t completely out of the woods. The amount of funding has been cut and all of the services are not covered under the changed program description. The advocates for this program still have work to do.
The Fix-it Program was started 10 years ago when the Area 4 Needs Assessment identified getting things done around the home as the number one need. By calling FREED a volunteer can be sent out to do minor home repairs. FREED also has a handy referral list of screened persons who can be hired to do yard work, minor home repairs, house work, etc. The new job description only covers minor home modifications. The handy referral list will not qualify for funding.
When the Area 4 Needs Assessment was done last year, the priority needs were for increased public transportation and the visiting nurses services. These programs had not had an increase in funding in 10 years even though our senior population had sky- rocketed. Since there was no new money Area 4 decided to increase funding for the above services by discontinuing the Fix-it Program since it was not even mentioned as a unmet need because FREED is meeting this need.
That’s when the community responded with letters, e-mails, an article in The Union, and telephone calls to Area 4. Supervisor Bruce Conklin asked the Board of Supervisors to request Area 4 to not cease funding the Fix-it Program and the board unanimously voted their support of his motion. It worked. The Fix-it Program would continue to be eligible to apply for funds of $35,000 instead of $43,000. FREED and the community advocates will be working together to restore all these needed services The county has demonstrated that they will hear us.
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