Addabbo Joins Fight To Continue Senior Center Funding
City Council member Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., a supporter of keeping senior centers open, said that now is the time when our senior citizens, some of them our most vulnerable, need our support more than ever. He added that the services that the senior center provides to this population are not provided elsewhere.
Addabbo scolded the Department for the Aging (DFTA) for withdrawing the 2009 funding for the Queensboro Council for Social Welfare, Inc., a Queens neighborhood-based 87-year organization and with it the elimination of important neighborhood based services and support, just at a time when the residents of Queens are most in need of their services. As a result of foreclosure, predatory lending, job losses and the recession, the organization told Addabbo that it has received more calls for help from increasingly desperate people. of a wide range of services, including health care, food service and leisure activities, such as bingo, field trips, gardening, movies, and informational and computer training classes. The provision of meals, primarily lunch, is still the major focal point of center services.
Currently, DFTA's annual budget for senior centers is $94 million. In fiscal year '07 more than 8.1 million meals were served at senior centers.
Opposing the closing of senior centers, Addabbo said that he and his Council colleagues want to prevent the city's senior citizens from being left out in the cold without a center to attend, the services they require and the meals they depend on. "As an elected official, I must do whatever I can to keep our senior centers open during these difficult financial times," Addabbo concluded.