Senior center operating at bare bones

Iris Lawrence, Hilltop Senior Citizen's Association executive director
Iris Lawrence, Hilltop Senior Citizen's Association executive director

Elise Preston
NewsChannel 10

AMARILLO, TX - There are concerns this evening many local senior citizens could be without a place to stay active and healthy.

The Hilltop Senior Citizen's Association says if its funding continues as it is now, it will be forced to shut down this year.

According to executive director, Iris Lawrence, if that were to happen, hundreds of seniors would have their aging process increase.

"The center is designated and designed to get them to participate so they just wont sit and become idle and do nothing....seniors have less health problems when they are active." said Lawrence.

Administrators say they have been operating at a record low budget. The non-profit organization gets much of its funding through charity bingo and donations. After just the first month of the year, they are already down 10 thousand dollars in comparison to this time last year. In January, the center raised their membership fees from 10 dollars to 20 dollars a year. That's the first time it's been increased since the center opened in the 1980's.

Administrators tell NewsChannel 10, the ten dollar difference is a huge chunk of cash for many seniors, who are on a fixed income. And they have seen a drop in their membership.

"A lot of people who are retired are not retired from professional jobs, that didn't pay a lot of money and the time.  Right now their fixed income is sometimes less than 1000 a month after utilities and groceries, they don't have much money to spend." said Lawrence.

If you would like to help, Lawrence tells us, just by becoming a member of the center, your 20 dollar membership fee could help offset costs.

To join, you can stop by the center which is located at 1311 North Taylor or give them a call at 376-9511.