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Largest senior center in city to close at end of month

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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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  • Let's reopen the center
    I would love to know who to speak with about the possibility of reopening the center. I am presently working on a pioneering program for the nation, and the center would be prime to further the many resources in the community.
  • ISC Closure A Sad Commentary
    How sad that the ISC is closing. It is centers like this one that help keep older adults independent, active and healthy. Dividing up the services and providing them piece-meal via other agencies is a giant Stephan backwards. Centers like this one are especially needed now with the rapid growth of the senior population. Why isn't the City or County stepping up to the plate? Leadership at the ISC must have sorely been lacking.
  • Dementia Care
    Alzheimer's Care Group in Carmel would be glad to provide activities and educational resources for those who will need assistance for a family member who has a diagnosis of Alzheimer's or a related dementia.
  • In Our Prayers
    The Social of Greenwood will do all it can to help in this difficult time. Members of ISC will be able to move their membership to The Social at no additonal cost for the remainder of their year.
  • Sorry to See It Go
    It was a lovely facility I discovered with my mother, only a few months ago. It's sad to see services for seniors declining while the number of seniors needing services continues to grow. It's hard to sustain a facility in these times--especially when the target audience has limited income.
  • "Small Town" City??????
    How sad- it's all about priorities. In this city we can find the $'s for other things (like sports)- what about the basics that make a community a community?

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  1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

  2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

  3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

  4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

  5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.

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