LAFAYETTE — In one form or another, senior citizens in Greater Lafayette have long had access to a meals on wheels program.
But the federal "Budget Blueprint," released by the White House on Thursday, proposes to eliminate $3 billion worth of Community Development Block Grants that help programs like Meals on Wheels of Greater Lafayette.
But other programs around Lafayette need the funds more than Meals on Wheels. The program had a budget of $199,310 in 2016 and stands to lose $5,000 worth of funds recommended for next year. But the Senior Home Repair Program, or SHARP, used $53,500 in federal funding for the fiscal year of 2016, out of $61,907 put into 27 homes in 2016.
Many of the people who use either program live on fixed incomes, said Bill Glick, executive director of The Center @ Jenks Rest. The center operates Meals on Wheels and SHARP around Greater Lafayette.
"Imagine you're a widow, living in your home, and the furnace goes out, and your income is $800, $900 or $1,000 a month," Glick said. "What are you going to do about it?"
The Center @ Jenks Rest operates another senior housing repair program called Neighborhood Improvement Plan, which does not use CDBG grants and is funded separately. Between all funding sources and programs, the center spent $249,325 on home repairs for Tippecanoe County senior citizens in 2016.
The money from the Community Development Block Grant Program comes from the federal level, but local governments have a say in how it's spent.