SHEPHERDSVILLE - They had a very clear message for state Rep. Linda Belcher.
They wanted her to do whatever was possible to make sure funding continued to keep the Multi-Purpose Community Action Agency’s senior center in Shepherdsville open.
Two dozen senior citizens recently met with Belcher as she gathered input on things she needs to address as the General Assembly returns for its short off-year session in Frankfort.
Belcher, who is on the senior citizens committee, said she needed the input to better do her job representing them.
One resident said that “it’s a place to go to...it’s a wonderful place to go.”
Another said going to the Shepherdsville facility is something she depends on to meet other people and for a meal each day.
Regina Davis said she enjoyed coming to the center and meeting her friends.
Ray Cooper said transportation for seniors is important and the center needs to get Thursday services restored.
Manager Mary Wilson said funding for the transportation on Tuesday and Thursday had been cut. However, donations were received to get the Thursday service restored.
“Our transportation is a big thing,” said Wilson.
The senior citizens center has recently been relocated to the community center behind the old Shepherdsville City Hall. This was due to a fire in the county facility shared with the American Red Cross.
Wilson said an average of 38-40 people would visit the facility on any given day.
They come for lunch, which is offered free of charge. Donations are accepted but Wilson said that doesn’t cover the cost of the meals.
Activities such as bingo and karaoke are also a draw for seniors to attend.
Meals are also delivered by volunteers to homebound residents; however, Wilson said there is another 46 on a waiting list for meals as soon as funds become available.
“There is such a need out there,” said Wilson.
MPCAA executive director Kim Embry said that the agency receives some funding but that is far short of what is needed.
If the state cuts another 2 percent from its funding, Embry said the agency will have to survive. If those cuts are 4 percent, services will definitely be cut.
“Our resources are limited,” said Embry.
Transportation is a major expense but it also an important service for the residents, said Embry.
Wilson said a group of seniors plan to meet with state Sen. Gary Tapp to talk about their concerns.
Belcher said she would take the stories to her colleagues to see if as much funding possible could be devoted to senior services.