Gulfport Seniors To Get A Better Gathering Place - - The News for South Mississippi

Gulfport Seniors To Get A Better Gathering Place

The director of a senior citizens center says she gets calls every day from people wanting to know when it will reopen. The North Gulfport Senior Citizens Center is in the midst of a $580,000 renovation and expansion.

While the center is under renovation, Director Janice Green says all the activities have been moved to another location. She says it's a small sacrifice to be able to improve a center that means so much to the community.

"This is in a predominantly low income area and there's just no activities going on in the area here," said Green. "So the center is just a focal point for all kind of services."

Harrison County is using grant money to put in hundreds of thousands of dollars in upgrades. The renovation will double the center in size to include more activity rooms, more rest rooms, and an expanded kitchen.

District 4 Supervisor William Martin said, "This extra space will allow us to have more areas for crafts, more areas for recreational activities, more meeting spaces. The men don't always have to be with the women all the time. It gives them the opportunity to have their own separate rooms and do some of the things that they want to do."

With more space and better facilities, center officials say more senior citizens will get the chance to come enjoy themselves.

Green said, "I think it means that they can take their minds off their worries. That they can meet with their peers and to have someone to talk to and to relate to and it will take their minds off of a lot of their problems."

Before temporarily relocating for renovations the senior citizens center was averaging 40 visitors a day.  The North Gulfport Senior Citizen Center is expected to be open by Christmas. The county is also giving a face lift to the Isiah Fredericks Community Center next door with new flooring and a fresh coat of paint.

by Danielle Thomas

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