Seniors Unlimited seeking help to keep its doors open

Billy Cannada Staff Writer

August 21, 2013

PICKENS COUNTY—With two centers already closed in Easley in Pickens, Pickens County Seniors Unlimited is asking for any help it can find.

The senior center at 401 Blair Street in Easley closed down due to poor building conditions, and Steve Crowe with Seniors Unlimited says everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong.

“We’re in a desperate situation where we need some help from somewhere,” Crowe said. “Anything (bad) that could have happened to us seems to have happened.”

Crowe said facility conditions continued to deteriorate at the Easley center until it was no longer inhabitable.

“We had to close the Easley center because of unsafe conditions,” Crowe said. “We’ve got water running inside almost as much as it runs outside, part of our ceiling has collapsed and mold is growing inside the building. We don’t have the funds to fix the building.”

The Easley facility also had five air conditioning units stolen after the building was shut down.

Centers in Liberty and Central remain open and Crowe said the seniors that would attend the Easley center are currently being transported to Liberty.

The center in Pickens has been closed for some time now.

“We would like the city to consider doing something to keep the facility open in Easley,” Crowe said. “When we leave, Easley will have nothing.”

Crowe said the facility not only provides seniors with something to do, but serves an important 20 congregate meals that Easley will lose.

“We do about 48 home delivered meals and serve about 20 congregate meals in Easley,” Crowe said. “On an average day, about 30 people will be there.”

“We serve about 117 unduplicated clients at the Easley center and another 52 at the Central center,” he said.

Crowe said the center is the only option for some seniors.

“They go to the center to exercise, socialize, work on puzzles, shoot pool and for some of them, that’s the only place they go,” Crowe said.

As for now, time is running out, according to Crowe.

“Time is tight for us to find a place. We can’t go back to Easley because of the condition of the building,” Crowe said. “The place in Liberty is so far away that the seniors in Easley are having a hard time getting there.”

Easley City officials say they are working to help find a solution.

“We have a grant writer, and I went back and asked if there was any way we could find something that might be available to help,” Easley Mayor Larry Bagwell said. “I think everybody on the council is very aware of what is going on and wants to do what they can. We’ll be looking at the situation and we’ll try to come up with something.”