Laramie County Senior Services cut out of proposed city budget

Published: May. 24, 2020 at 10:13 PM CDT
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The Laramie County Senior Center is among many Cheyenne non-profit organizations that might go without funding this year.

The Cheyenne City Council proposed the Fiscal Year 2021 budget, and it cut 100% of the Senior Center's budget.

The Senior Center uses the funding for various activities, largely for meals, with Nutrition being one of their largest programs.

The center, joined with four satellite sites, serve over 3,500 meals a month.

"It would impact us a great deal," said Erin LeBlanc. "We could potentially not be able to serve about 13,000 meals."

The Senior Center serves meals seven days a week, and the satellite stations serve them four days a week. They have done take out since state orders were put in place for COVID-19.

Normally, hot, midday, congregate meals welcome all who need it.

"We've noticed, even with the coronavirus going on, our numbers have not dropped at all," said LeBlanc. "They're coming and picking up the meals and leaving. And for some, it may be their only meal that they get a day."

The center has had to adjust how the activity center runs as well. Activities like pool, cards, and field trips are being put on hold.

"We have slowly been getting back to that," said LeBlanc. "We've talked to all of our instructors about social distancing and letting them know that they can come back with masks on and the distancing. We've had yoga that has started back up and a few other things recently."

The Senior Center has opportunities to fund raise, with Thankful Thursday coming up in the fall, and many dinners throughout the year. But, they would still feel the economic impact of being cut out of the budget entirely.

"I think it's really important. I've gotten several calls when the article came out in the newspaper thinking our program was going away. It is not going away. It just hinders because of the funding. We work on match funding."

The budget still needs to go through the approval and debating process before it is finalized.

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