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LETTER: Senior services sorely lacking

Dear Editor,

On behalf of a large concerned group of students and local community members, it has come to our attention that there is a lack of senior support financially in the Kootenays, let alone across the province.

The local Senior outreach and support program (SOS) under the Castlegar district community services that has made an incredible difference in our local community, and their funding have been cut as of April 2017.

Unfortunately, due to the application mandate of Columbia Basin Trust (of supporting new initiatives), their application was denied. Though it is understandable that there is limited supply and demand for funds to be distributed, this program is a fundamental and responsive program that is much needed in our community.

SOS was hoping to expand the program across the region, but instead have been completely cut and will end if there is no financial support and funding.

The loss of funding for this program is detrimental to our community, to the seniors, and the wellbeing of the elders in our community. We need our elders, and we need to be able to connect with them either one on one, or through this program. SOS continues to show growth in numbers, and response from the community is astonishing and needed desperately.

There is no programs for seniors like SOS in our surrounding communities of Trail, Salmo, Rossland, etc, and the one program in Castlegar will be coming to a close. In the Castlegar area alone, I believe there are 29 per cent of seniors in our population. This is a huge amount of people that need help and do access these programs.

SOS needs funding and awareness, and we need to find an alternative for this imperative program. Please consider spreading the word about this, fundraising and donating to this incredible organization.

Sincerely,

Aryelle Attridge-Weeks