Douglas County is consolidating all of its services to seniors under one department and one management for better coordination, more effective program development, and to provide a continuous stream of services from age 55 to elderly. Douglas County Senior Services, a department of County government, will now also oversee all County programs and services for seniors.
The Douglas County Senior Services Department was created in 2009 when the State of Georgia drastically cut its funding and staff for senior services in Douglas County, and the County, faced with the elimination of Meals on Wheels and other necessary programs, funded and staffed the programs. The Douglas County Senior Services Department has since provided the programs and activities for the Fairburn Road Senior Center. The Woodie Fite Senior Center opened in 2005 with programs and activities for active adults age 55 and up. The Woodie Fite Senior Center is located at 8750 Dorris Road adjacent to the Douglas County Courthouse. Prior to now, the two programs had not been coordinated.
The consolidation of the two centers and their programs is effective immediately. Richard Hagan, Senior Services Department Director, will oversee all programs and operations. Sharon Johnson, a five-year employee at the Woodie Fite Senior Center, will be the Director of that Center. Mr. Hagan worked for the State of Georgia in Senior Services when they provided the local services to Douglas County, and then retired. When Douglas County took over the services, he came back to work for Douglas County, and brings his wealth of knowledge and experience to the position. Mrs. Johnson has been a teacher and a program assistant at the Woodie Fite Center, and has extensive prior experience in senior issues.
Douglas County Commission Chairman Tom Worthan, making the consolidation announcement, stated that “the combination of these two great programs under one umbrella makes logical sense, and will allow the County to work with and assist seniors through the rest of their lives. It will also allow us to seek Federal and State program and funding assistance for the Woodie Fite Center for which it previously did not qualify. This is a win-win situation for everyone as the County looks for ways to provide better services to our seniors.”
The extensive list of active programs and activities at the Woodie Fite Senior Center will continue unabated, and visitors to both centers will not experience any changes in the daily operations. The expansion of the Woodie Fite Center continues on track with a March 18th bid opening for construction. The programs at the Fairburn Road Center will also remain unchanged: congregate meals, home-delivered meals, homemaker services, respite care, and transportation. The consolidation of the two centers will allow cross-over programming.