Community steps up to help its seniors

Community steps up to help its seniors

BROOKLAND, AR (KAIT) - A Region 8 community is working hard to care for its senior citizens.

Mayor Kenneth Jones said he began looking at ways to potentially help Brookland's seniors a couple of years ago.

"As our city grows we get the feeling that some of our seniors feel left behind," Jones said. "You know, a senior citizen is on a fixed income. It actually comes down to 'do I have my food or my medicine or do I fix something wrong in my house.' So, about three months ago I went to the council and suggested we start a committee."

That committee will focus on the needs of Brookland senior citizens.

"That committee will help our seniors with issues that they have," Jones said. "It can be anything from yard raking to working on their flower beds, mowing their yard. But the more we've talked about this and are getting serious about it, we've found there are programs through CRDC, DHS, and other organizations that can help seniors."

Jones said their first step was to find out if they could form a committee.

"First thing we needed to do was to make sure it was legal, and we could do it," Jones said. "We talked to the Arkansas Municipal League, and they said it was fine, and we could do this."

Jones said then the idea needed to be approved by the city council.

That was done at their meeting this week.

"The second step is forming the committee," Jones said. "The committee will oversee this. Set the guidelines and the bylaws and whatever it requires for you to apply for assistance or ask for help. And what we're looking at trying to do is make this at no cost to the citizen if we can. We understand that there will be projects where there will be money that needs to be spent. But we've already had commitments from contractors who have said they will help. And so, we're really just excited about the possibilities of this program."

Jones said that city council members are pounding the pavement in search of parties interested in joining the committee or lending a hand when needed.

"As we get more in depth and find out more things about it," Jones said. "The more excited I get and I hope the community gets excited about it too. One thing we didn't want to do is start a program and in a couple of months, it just goes away. So, what we're trying to do is lay the foundation."

Jones said he feels the creation of this committee is going to have lasting effects in their community.

"I think it's going to be something really good for our city," Jones said. "Cities all across this country pass laws to keep their cities looking great. And sometimes it can put a burden on the elderly that just doesn't have the funding to maybe mow the yard before it gets to eight inches or ten inches. Or maybe they don't have the money to fix a front porch that's falling in. We want to be able to offer our citizens the help. And again, we hope to be able to do this at no cost to them. So, we're very excited to be able to move this project forward."

Jones said at the September meeting next month they hope to have a list of names to nominate for the committee.

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