The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
by Jacob Irish, Quill Reporter
Executive Director, Barbara Eskildsen and members of her team met with some concerned citizens at the Senior Center in Stronghurst, on June 6th to discuss the future of WIAAA programs in Henderson County.
Eskildsen and her staff made it clear that they are will continue providing services to Henderson County's elderly and disabled population "no matter what." However, they will not be a WIAAA sponsored organization in Henderson County until October 1, 2015.
Programs such as: Information & Assistance, Outreach, Senior Health Assistance Programs, License Plate Discount, Options Counselling, and Caregiver Information & Assistance will now be administered by the Strom Center in Monmouth, until the end of the fiscal year (September 30, 2015). Those in need of these services can contact the Strom Center by calling (309) 734-5677.
The Henderson County Health Department has agreed to continue providing clients with transportation to medical appointments if there is no other means of transportation for the person until September 30, 2015.
As for congregate meals, there will be none until October 1, 2015 when WIAAA selects an organization to become the Community Focal Point.
Eskildsen mentioned that the Henderson County Health Department has been working cooperatively with WIAAA to continue providing for Henderson County's elderly population. Following the HCHD's abrupt decision to cancel all WIAAA programs last month, the HCHD has approached WIAAA with the hopes of revitalizing their partnership.
Eskildsen noted that they still do not know who will be taking over the WIAAA programs starting October 1st, but mentioned that grant applications for the coming fiscal year were due by 5 p.m. Friday June 5th.
Henderson County board member, Angela Myers, stated that the HCHD had submitted their grant application to WIAAA earlier that same day. Barb Eskildsen as well as WIAAA's board of directors will now review all grant applications from Henderson County organizations and make a definite decision at their July board meeting.
Although the future administrating organization of WIAAA programs in Henderson County has yet to be decided, Eskildsen and the rest of the staff at WIAAA are committed to making sure that Henderson County residents in need get assistance they deserve. Eskildsen urged those in need of senior services to contact the Strom Center ((309) 734-5677) or the Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging ((309) 793-6800).