Houston County Senior Center's financial problems causes them to close

Glenna Enos, Project Director
Glenna Enos, Project Director

CROCKETT, TX (KTRE) - (KTRE) - The financial outlook at the senior center in Houston County hasn't been good for months.

"We know its in trouble, but we really don't know why,"said Rosa Liegrant, Houston County Senior.

Most people understand that the cost of food, gas - everything has gone up. Yet funding remains the same.  The community was unprepared by this bombshell: a lawsuit filed against it in Houston County Court. Documents reveal over $72,000 owed to a food vendor, including bounced checks totaling almost $6,000.

"I don't understand how it got to such a cumulative figure," said O.B. Ethridge, Former Board Member.

As the debt piled up, scheduled grants were delayed, it became clear to the center's administration that normal operations couldn't continue.

For seven days the Houston County Senior Center has been shut down. The administration, and the folks form DETCOG say they're working together to change that.

These Houston County seniors have tons of questions, but there's one they want answered the most: when will they be able to come back?

The center's director, Glenna Enos, says their first priority is getting meals on wheels back on track.

"The ultimate goal is to get the home delivery meals up and running by Friday," said Enos.

Those deliveries will be shelf stable meals provided by the Deep East Texas Council of Government, who subsides the program.

"It may be their only meal and their only human contact," said Liegrant.

However, for the seniors who eat and play at the center...

"It's an outing for us when we're not able to do anything else. I miss my friends here," said Vera Chromsak, Senior.

They're just out of luck.  These doors will remain closed until administrators are satisfied the center's headed in the right direction.

"I think we've set a goal date of June 30th, but hopefully before that the center to be re-opened," said Enos.

Enos says for that to happen, the community needs to pitch in.  They can't stay open on state funding alone.