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Largest senior center in city to close at end of month

June 7, 2012

A long-time resource for older adults near downtown Indianapolis will close at the end of June, citing “insurmountable financial challenges.”

Indianapolis Senior Center, 708 E. Michigan St., is directing clients to other agencies for meals, transportation and other services the center has provided since 1962.

A full-time social worker and two staff members will help clients find other providers. Central Indiana Council on Aging, the primary funder of ISC’s transportation program, will provide transportation starting July 1.

Arrangements are being made to find new providers of meals that had been delivered on-site and at-home.

“We’re going to transition them to other providers,” said Amy DiStaulo, interim executive director.

DiStaulo said the center serves about 6,800 people per year.

The center employed 17 people at the end of its last fiscal year, according to its latest tax filing.

Annual revenue of $1.1 million was $400,000 less than reported expenses. The center also reported a $191,000 spending deficit during the previous year.

Center officials blame the planned closing on steadily declining membership in recent years and additional operating costs due to moving to an expanded facility five years ago.

The cost of acquiring and overhauling the 20,000-square-foot building totaled $4.2 million.

The center has relied on grants from the United Way, private donations, federal funding and membership fees.

Among amenities are a fitness center, a library and a dining area. There are no residential housing services provided at the center.

DiStaulo said ISC explored numerous other ways to fund the center, but finances have been steadily declining.

“We turned over every rock,” to no avail, she said.

 


 

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