by : Helping Seniors of Brevard
The topic of today’s column should capture the interest of every one of the 250,000 senior citizens in Brevard. Several years ago, when two prominent Brevard County Commissioners who advocated for senior needs left office, no one stepped forward to fill the void. Since then, local funding to maintain and develop senior care programs has fallen steadily behind other, more vocalized causes, despite the fact that Brevard County has one of the most rapidly developing senior communities in the United States.
In 2015 Helping Seniors of Brevard formed a Senior Advocacy Council to develop public awareness of elder needs. The group researched and wrote a concept paper on the need for an aging plan for Brevard County, which it presented to the County Commissioners in 2016. To date, there has been no public response to that document. In an effort to further promote a preparedness plan, the Senior Advocacy Council has already had its first meeting for 2017, but if you would like to attend future meetings, please call Kay Keyser at 321-473-7770.
Although there are federal, state, and local monies currently directed to local programs serving senior causes, it behooves us to investigate how wisely these severely limited dollars are being spent. If money is going to programs no one knows about, or if transportation funds are being used for overhead costs, then we may need better leadership. To check out how well a non profit is doing, simply take a look at their IRS 990 form. This is a public document that can be found online or requested from the organization. It is quite easy to see for yourself if your tax dollars are being effectively used.
Until we develop active and participatory senior leadership, there will be a need for columns such as this one. It is easy to ignore wasteful use of public funds but it is not the right thing to do. The classification of non profit means little if we do not hold public type entities accountable for uses of donated and public funds. To be a part of the movement to develop a senior leadership organization for Brevard County, contact Kay at 321-473-7770. It is never too late to join other community leaders in promoting senior issues and causes. Leadership belongs to all of us.
Joe Steckler is the President of Helping Seniors of Brevard, a non profit organization designed to advocate, educate, and fundraise on behalf of Brevard’s senior citizens. Feel free to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or calling: 321-473-7770