Chaves County Joy Center faces major budget cuts

joy-center

ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE)- A program that delivers meals to hundreds of elderly people every day is worried about its future.

The Joy Center in Roswell just lost more than $50,000 of its budget.

Now they need to come up with some money fast or make some big changes.

Monday through Friday between 10 and noon, many of Roswell’s elderly citizens get a visit from people like staff at the Chaves County Joy Center, delivering their meals.

“In terms of meals, we serve about 650 meals a day,” said Monica Duran, executive director of the Joy Center.

Those are both home delivered meals and a daily lunch at the Joy Center.

They also provide a number of other services to the elderly in the Roswell area.

“Home delivered meals, transportation, congregate meals, home maker services, adult daycare and foster grandparent and senior companion programs,” said Duran.

A big cut in state funding means the Joy Center has some decisions to make.

“We were looking at our budget and look and see where we could cut without cutting too much into services,” said Duran.

So far the non-profit has done away with part-time positions and have cut employees hours.

They hope to provide the same amount of meals as before but that could easily change.

“What we will have to do is start prioritizing our clients and looking at the possibility of starting a waiting list,” said Duran.

The Joy Center says these meals are sometimes the only thing that some elderly people get to eat all day.

“We just really really need all the help that we can get because we have to really really keep this place going for our seniors and we have to keep our seniors healthy,” said Rita Bernette, employee at the Joy Center.

Joy Center officials say because they have had to cut hours for staff.

That has also cut into transportation services meaning they are not able to provide as many rides for seniors as they did before.

The Joy Center will try to step up its fundraising efforts.

The non-profit has four senior centers around Chaves County, one of them in Roswell.

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