Glenridge Senior Center closed, temporarily
by Daniel Bush
Aug 10, 2010 | 2747 views | 1 1 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Glenridge Senior Center has closed temporarily, and will have to find new sources of funding if it plans to survive without city dollars in the years to come.

On June 30, the city's Department for the Aging (DFTA) cut funding to the center - and dozens more - in a cost saving measure. Glenridge, located at 59-03 Summerfield Street in Ridgewood, remained open through July, and even received a boost from elected officials who said a combination of federal and City Council funds would prevent it from closing.

But the fiscal year 2011 appropriations, secured by Councilwoman Diana Reyna and Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, won't be available until Novemeber and next spring, respectively.

Forced to wait, cut off from city aid and faced with the prospect of going deeper into debt by staying open, the center's board decided to suspend operations as of July 30.

Albert Juszczak, the center's director, said in the meantime Glenridge will receive a state grant of roughly $123,000 in October, and a final payment from the city sometime this month. The center will reopen once the state grant comes through, he said.

"It would be irresponsible for us to reopen [before then] if we don't have enough money to run the place," he said.

Christopher Miller, a DFTA spokesperson, said the city is not planning to restore the funding. “There is no more DFTA funding,” he said. He said the center's request for advance funding was rejected because its contract with the city was terminated.

State Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr. said the center can reopen, but it must look elsewhere for funding. “Glenridge is going to have to become a different kind of senior center” that does not rely on city aid, he said.

Juszczak blamed the Bloomberg Administration for the shutdown.

"I don't think DFTA is a reliable partner," he said. "Not because DFTA is unreliable but because the mayor has been decimating funds for senior centers for years."

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jeanne m.
April 26, 2011
Why is this going on when this particular center has been a real 'God send' to those in the area? With seniors who might have nothing to do but sit at home and watch t.v., lie in bed, etc., centers like this are a real blessing, but once again why should that matter to the Mayor or others in office, who I'm quite sure have somewhere for their elderly parents (or grandparents) to go?

There has to be a viable solution to keeping this center open, and I pray to God it happens "very soon", because to see this center close down for good would be a horrific blow to those who need it the most.