CINCINNATI -- After it was announced the Over-the-Rhine Senior Center would close on Nov. 24, community members came together Monday to support the organization that has helped the OTR community for over 30 years.
"We saw the community come together," Human Services Chairman Brian Garry said. "We don't want them to shut their doors."
The senior center has been open since the 1980s, providing seniors with meals and senior-oriented programs. But funding for the center has been declining over the past decade.
In 2007, the center received $132,000 in funding from the city of Cincinnati, according to Cincinnati Area Senior Services CEO Tracey Collins. Then, funding dropped to $67,000 in 2010, has steadily gone down until 2016 when funding from the city dropped to zero.
United Way was also providing funding for the center, but in 2017 the organization decided to halve their funding to the center as well.
Services will still be available, but members who have gone to the Over-the-Rhine center will have to go to the Church of Our Savior in Mount Auburn instead, and not everyone is sold on this plan.
"There's nothing wrong with the move to Mt. Auburn," said Clifford Beasley, a man who goes to the Over-the-Rhine Senior Center. "But Mt. Auburn is a little out of reach for me. I can walk here from where I live at."
The closure is also more than just the loss of a building. Some feel they are losing a family, too.
"It's like a family atmosphere in here," said Beasley. "We come here and the camaraderie is great. We're just like one big happy family."