New proposals could save senior center in OTR

December 7, 2018 by  

The Over-the-Rhine Senior Services Center, which was recently facing closure, may be able to keep its doors open, thanks to the intervention of a city councilman.

The Over-the-Rhine Senior Services Center has been providing hot food, as well as a sense of community and safety, to OTR seniors for more than 30 years. The center is operated by the Cincinnati Area Senior Services (CASS), which recently said it planned to close the center due to a budget deficit of $100,000. It added it would bus seniors to Mount Auburn, to a center there.

Tracey Collins, the CEO of CASS, said the city stopped funding the center in 2015, and the funds the center got from the United Way of Greater Cincinnati were also curtailed, as United Way has been facing its own funding problems recently.

However, Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld plans to introduce two ordinances that could save the center. The first would give the center a lump sum of $50,000 as a one-time funding effort. This would allow the center to remain open as CASS raises additional funds. Facilities like this have an opportunity to use graphic design in rebranding efforts.

The second ordinance would instruct the city to sell the center’s building to CASS for the sum of one dollar. Once CASS owns the building, potential donors might be more likely to fund the operation. In addition, CASS would be able to lease part of the building as a means of increasing revenue.