Exciting Day for Fort Bend Seniors

4 03 2015

FBS logoOne of OEM’s key emergency management partners is having a special day today.  Today Fort Bend Seniors Meals on Wheels will be holding its groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a new 3,600 square foot administrative building—-more about this project is described below in an article from the Fort Bend Herald that was published yesterday.  For many years, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has worked collaboratively with Fort Bend Seniors to deliver emergency preparedness materials to the clients of Fort Bend Seniors.  Fort Bend County Health and Human Services (HHS) is another key player in emergency management in our County and they also work closely with Fort Bend Seniors to help identify those individuals in our community that might need special assistance before or after a disaster.  So, today, staff here at OEM is very happy for Fort Bend Seniors and we look forward to working closely with the agency for many years to come.

Fort Bend Seniors prepares for the future

Here’s a nod to the Fort Bend Seniors Meals on Wheels, which will be holding its groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday to celebrate a major milestone in nonprofit’s history with the renovation and expansion of the Senior Center in the O’Shieles Community Center and the construction of a new 3,600 square-foot administrative building, which will be adjacent to the center.
What’s notable about this $3 million capital endeavor, is that it is a collaborative project between Fort Bend County and Fort Bend Seniors, with major funding provided by the county, Henderson-Wessendorff Foundation, George Foundation, Fred and Mabel Parks Foundation, Gulf Coast Medical Foundation and the FBS board of directors.

To date $2 million has been raised completing Phase I of the campaign, and plans are underway to raise the remaining $1 million by the end of 2016.
Since inception 40 years ago, Fort Bend Seniors Meals on Wheels has served over 3.4 million congregate and home delivered meals to older adults age 60 and over, regardless of income, in Fort Bend and Waller Counties.

Through its efforts, Fort Bend Seniors has helped seniors remain independent by enhancing their quality of life through services and resources.

This project is also an important preemptive measure for the nonprofit. Studies show that within the next 15 or so years the population of senior citizens will double and for the first time in history, people 65 years old and older will outnumber children under five years of age.

The groundbreaking will take place at 10:30 a.m. at the Bud O’Shieles Community Center at 1330 Band Rd. in Rosenberg. Other elements of capital project include: renovation of the Bud O’Shieles Community Center to provide for a library, education and activity rooms, and a care area for seniors with early signs of dementia; and a new kitchen to more efficiently deliver meals. (Published in Fort Bend Herald on Tuesday, March 3, 2015)

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Ike aid slips away as House fails to grant extension

30 09 2010

As reported by Harvey Rice, Houston Chronicle, September 30, 2010……….

Scores of social service agencies will stop offering health, counseling, transportation, housing and other services today to Hurricane Ike victims after the U.S. House of Representatives failed to pass a bill extending the deadline for Texas to use $94 million in unspent federal disaster funds.

“All the availability of the services will stop,” said Joe Compian, a board member for Gulf Coast Interfaith who lobbied feverishly for the legislation. Social service agencies will begin laying off employees today, Compian said.

A Senate bill to extend the deadline introduced by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn passed by unanimous consent late Wednesday and was sent to the House where it was expected to pass by unanimous consent as well.

But U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, said that the Republican leadership in the House killed the bill by saying that they hadn’t had time to read it. “I am absolutely surprised about that,” Jackson Lee said, because the bill had bipartisan support.

The bill would have extended for one year the Sept. 30 expiration of a one-year social services block grant. Both houses adjourned early Thursday and are unlikely to return until after the Nov. 2 election.

Jackson Lee said she would urge Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to take administrative action to keep money flowing to Texas social service agencies until the House could reconvene. The House Democratic leadership is committed to taking up the issue again, she said.

“The main thing I want to give the community is hope,” Jackson Lee said.

Cornyn’s office said Texas would lose $94 million in unspent social security block grant funds. The money was part of a $600 million grant in 2009 to help disaster afflicted states, including Missouri, Illinois and Louisiana.

But social service agencies complained that red tape at federal and state levels kept them from receiving the money for six months, so they only had six months to spend the one-year grant.

Social service agencies also complain that the deadline falls just as the need for services is increasing. They said deadlines for similar grants to Hurricane Katrina affected areas were routinely extended.

Twelve counties in the Houston area received about $94 million. Social service agencies in Galveston and Brazoria counties, hard-hit by Ike, banded together and received about $33 million in social service block grants.