FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) Meals on Wheels America announced earlier this week the three recipients of the 2020 Helping Hands Home Bound Heroes Grant. On that short list was the Fairbanks Senior Center along with their Helping Hands Home Modifications program, receiving $85,000.
"We are honored to be selected for this grant in support of local senior veterans with critical home modification needs,” said Grant Manager Karla Zervos. "Senior veterans make up 22% of the Borough population, but they are 33% of our service requests. Many of these veterans served our country and now have service-related and/or age-related disabilities that make it difficult for them to age safely at home. And most of them are not enrolled in other supportive Senior Center programs. Our Home Modifications program has become a portal for connecting older veterans to other Senior Center services like Meals on Wheels, drive-up or congregate meals, transportation, wellness calls, grocery store runners, Senior Companions, and the Aging and Disability Resource Center North."
With the new grant, the senior center is now looking to add to their volunteer program to make use of the increased funds. Their plan is to replace stairs, steps, handrails, ramps and lighting.
Zervos says that it is important for them to help veterans especially during the pandemic. "It's a tremendous feeling, to know that we serve a population that we weren't able to help before," said Zervos. "Our priority is to serve people who are getting senior center services currently. We are also looking for people who would like to help out. We have only five volunteers doing these jobs now. We're also hiring a handyman and contractors."
For those looking to help with the program, you can call 907-457-4263 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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