East Cleveland senior center closes due to budget cuts

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senior center closingEAST CLEVELAND — The Helen S. Brown Center in East Cleveland closes, leaving hundreds of seniors with no place to go.

Senior citizens gathered at the center on Euclid Avenue on Tuesday to protest their center being closed down and only receiving three days notice from the city.

East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton released the following statement about the closing:

“Due to federal and state funding cuts, as well as declining local revenue, many cities face tough budget cuts. Our city is no different. We are committed to our seniors and have maintained programs at the Helen S. Brown Senior Center as long as possible. However, lack of revenue in 2015 led to the difficult decision to close our center. It is our hope that senior services agencies will help our seniors fill the gap in service.”

Seniors say they depend on the center for hot meals, transportation and the camaraderie the facility provides.

“It’s really sad, because this is the last day for us to meet as a group, for us to have hot meals, for us to just come together,” said Mearl Hammond.

“This is the holiday season. Jesus is the reason for the season and our seniors are dealing with a cold building, I’ve got my coat on, that kind of thing. It’s very unfortunate and something needs to be done,” said East Cleveland City Councilman Nathaniel Martin.

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