Local community center still providing support services

Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 7:16 PM PST
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FALLON, Nev. (KOLO) -The William N. Pennington Life Center had to close its physical doors this past year, but staff are doing what they can to check in with seniors and families who need help in and out of Churchill county.

Buster Pierce is the program services director for the center.

“We want to open back up, we’re missing our people and they’re missing us,” said Pierce. “That’s another thing we provided this whole year is phone calls, hundred and hundreds of phone calls just to see if they’re okay.”

Local center providing support services to Fallon community
Local center providing support services to Fallon community(KOLO)

After being forced to temporarily shut down, the center is focused on its ‘Meals on Wheels’ program, which feeds qualifying seniors who are homebound.

“For the meals on wheels program, over the last year we delivered 6,500 meals,” added Pierce. “That’s five days a week of doing hot meals and then frozen meals on the weekend if needed.”

Even though they’re not a food bank, staff said they try to deliver meals to anyone who needs it, as a simple food delivery can also double as a wellness check.

Lisa Erquiaga is the Executive Director at the center.

“I think it’s been difficult for the drivers because they’re use to going in and visiting with that person even if it’s just for 3 minutes,” explained Erquiaga. “If we don’t hear from them then we would send somebody. The next step would be trying to call them or a family member or call the police to do a wellness check. There had been times when we have done a wellness check and found the person has fallen down.”

Growing a vegetable garden is in the works, an activity to help maintain social distancing for their members when the center does open, but that won’t happen quite yet until staff can receive their COVID-19 vaccine. The center hopes to provide a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in their facility in the near future.

“You may not think we’re open but we’re still working and people still need to call us if they have a problem or would like help,” said Erquiaga.

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