Northwest NEWS

July 22, 2002

Editorial

Quality of life demands nothing less

The Sno-Valley Senior Center is an extremely fortunate center. We have paid off all debts. We have a contingency fund. We have a generous community and hard-working volunteers. However, even with all these assets we have a funding crisis looming.
   Sno-Valley Senior Center with the Adult Day Health program has a total budget of $265,133 to pay staff, utilities, programming, etc.
   We get 25 percent of our income from King County ($63,676) to assist us in providing such programs as hot lunch, foot care, van service, Meals on Wheels, Health Enhancement program, Adult Day Health plus all our classes and trips and other myriad of services. We are the focal point for getting these services to the Snoqualmie Valley residents.
   King County is looking at cutting all Human Services from its budget to half of the previous years level in 2003 then to nothing in 2004. This would be a very difficult cut for the Sno-Valley Senior Center to absorb. King County human service funds go to help all of us - young and old.
   The elimination of these funds would be devastating to many people. It would definitely have an impact on us here in the Snoqualmie Valley. The Sno-Valley Senior Center would have to reduce staff and open hours of the Senior Center.
   Right now, we assist 830 senior citizen a year to get the resources they need to remain healthy, active and independent in their own home.
   Our Adult Day Health program assists family members caring for relatives with a stroke, dementia or Alzheimers. What is to happen to family members when the respite they need is not available and their relative is not getting the therapy they need?
   Everyone is touched by Human Services in some way. We urge our King County Council to retain at least 90 percent of funding for human services, and to consider looking for savings in the escalating criminal justice budget.
   Reinvest those savings in our community safety net to help us all. I challenge the Council to show leadership and ingenuity by devising creative ways to find savings in the budget in order to prevent these deep human services cuts, and to look for a dedicated revenue source in the future.
   Our quality of life demands nothing less.
   Lisa Yeager, Director, Sno-Valley Senior Center, Carnation