POSTED: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 2:24pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 4:13pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — The East Baton Rouge Council on Aging serves more than 70,000 elderly people in the parish. They're facing a lot of debt, $400,000 in debt revealed by a recent audit, but this is not stopping them.
They won't cut services said Corey Willliams, director of resource development for EBR Council on Aging. So they're doing what they can to make sure the thousands of people they serve will still have a place to come and food to eat.
"We get comments all the time about," I don't know where my next meal would've came from if it wasn't for the Council on Aging,' or 'just attending the center gives me some place to go,'" Williams said.
Times are hard for the non-profit agency. After a recent audit, there are questions about if they'll be able to continue their services.
"In this day and age, as many more people are sick and have different illnesses, it's important to make sure that the senior citizens that they are there and that we continue to be there for them," Williams said.
State lawmakers are looking to fund the Councils on Aging state-wide to the tune of $1 million, but East Baton Rouge does not know just yet how much money it will get. So officials here are tackling the deficit head on.
"So we are currently working with key supporters and our board members to come up with a deficit eradication campaign," Williams said.
The agency's also making sure the $400,000 deficit won't hurt the people who matter most to them.
"We are also the go-to for emergency preparedness," Williams explained. "Along with the increased needs of services that our seniors in our parishes have been requesting, this agency is committed that we continue to provide services for our constituents."
Williams blames the debt on the agency's previous administration. Programs like they're Meals-on-Wheels is a vital service, so one way to keep it and the other programs they offer is fundraising.
"We have really beefed up our fundraising and development, and so we've already started to initiate some efforts," Williams said.
The Council's latest fundraising effort is a car raffle, where they're raffling off a new 2014 Chevy Camaro-- http://www.ebrcoaraffle.com/