The Mineral Area Community Elks Lodge presented grant money to both the Bonne Terre and Park Hills senior centers, as well as to the East Missouri Action Agency Uplift Center on Wednesday afternoons. Both senior centers received $1,250 each and the Uplift Center received $2,000 from the lodge.
Anna Kleiner is the current grant coordinator and the previous exalted ruler for the Mineral Area Community Elks Lodge. According to Kleiner, there are multiple grants the lodge can apply for including the Gratitude Grant, the Spotlight Grant, and the Beacon Grant which usually goes toward the lodge’s Christmas food basket program. This year, Kleiner said the lodge applied for four different grants and received a total of $9,000.
Directors of both senior centers, Holly Buxton of Park Hills’ senior center and Cher Robinson of Bonne Terre’s senior center, accepted checks for their respective centers. Both said the plan is to use the money for food since both centers provide meals for seniors. Buxton said as the cost of food continues to go up, more people are struggling.
“It’s hard to add new people when you’re not being able to continue to get the food prices you did, say a year ago, for food,” explained Buxton.
Both centers provide food to seniors in the area, either providing meals in person or through meals on wheels.
Bonne Terre’s senior center is located at 114 North Allen Street and provides lunch Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and serves breakfast on Friday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Park Hills’ senior center is located at 224 West Main Street, and provides lunches Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The two centers also provide meals through Meals on Wheels, and Park Hills helps feeds seniors in Park Hills, Leadington, Leadwood, and Desloge.
Robinson and Buxton said the centers are always looking volunteers to help serve meals or to help with Meals on Wheels. Bonne Terre’s center can be reached at 573-358-3726, while Park Hills’ center can be reached at 573-431-4974.
The lodge also presented a $2,000 check to the EMAA Uplift Center to Shelter Manager Deborah Carter and Community Service Program Assistant Director Chris Massey. The check, according to Massey, is going to be used to support the operations of the Uplift Overnight Shelter to help with homelessness in St. Francois County.
Located behind the old Mineral Area Regional Medical Center, right now the shelter is serving 50 people, but can serve up to 72. After renovation, the bottom floor has the office and intake place to meet with clients, as well as having an open space for dinners, storage spaces, and bathrooms. There are some rooms downstairs when men are housed, while upstairs contains more bedrooms for families and children.
The shelter has been open since earlier this year, but prior to this, EMAA was sheltering people in pods, which could only house 10 people.
The Uplift Shelter helps people with everyday needs, such as food and hygiene accessibility, as well as case management, getting birth certificates and other forms of IDs. The shelter also assists with job placements.
The shelter can be reached at 573-454-2403. If unable to get ahold of anyone at the shelter call EMAA at 573-431-5191 ext. 1105 or ext. 1138.
Danielle Thurman is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be contacted at email@example.com or 573-518-3616.