On Nov. 8, Delaware County voters will decide whether or not to approve the renewal and increase of a levy for senior citizen services and facilities at SourcePoint.
Alison Yeager, the director of communications and development at SourcePoint, said the Delaware County Senior Services Levy is “vital” to the community.
“Thirty years ago, a group of concerned citizens, social service organizations, older adults, and elected officials came together to talk about the needs of the growing older population,” Yeager said. “At the time, services were limited, and long waitlists were the norm. Many older adults found that nursing home placement was their most viable option, and in many cases, that displaced them from their own community. A task force was formed that took these community concerns and turned them into an organization that could improve accessibility to much-needed services and coordinate them on a local level. That, of course, is SourcePoint.”
Yeager said the 1.4-mill levy on the ballot is a renewal with a 0.1 mill increase to the levy passed by voters in 2017. Yeager said the levy provides SourcePoint with 80% of its funding with the other 20% coming from other sources such as state and federal grants, local foundations, fees and fundraising.
“We work hard to be good stewards of our resources,” Yeager said. “We direct 85% of our total budget to in-home care services and community programs that benefit older adults and family caregivers. Most of the levy funding is used to provide in-home services designed to enable older residents to remain living at home for as long as possible.”
Yeager said the 0.1 mill increase will help SourcePoint account for the continued growth in the county, especially of older adults. If approved, the new levy would cost $35.10 per $100,000 of assessed property value. Yeager said the additional .1 mill accounts for $3.50 of that cost.
“Prior to our research and strategic planning for the next three to five years, SourcePoint’s goal was to seek a flat renewal,” Yeager said. “However, due to the growth projections in Delaware County, a renewal alone would not be enough to sustain our current system of services. Instead, we would be forced into a position of making cuts to what we can offer the community.”
In 2020, the population of adults 55 and older in the county was 52,990, Yeager said, adding that by 2025, Scripps Gerontology Center predicts a 23% increase. Yeager said Scripps projects a 41% increase by 2030, and the 85-and-older cohort is growing even faster, predicted to increase by 70% in 2030.
“While the county’s growth is the primary reason for the additional 0.1-mill levy, the pandemic and subsequent recovery have also proved challenges,” Yeager said. “We are not immune to the challenges of the U.S. workforce, especially amongst in-home service providers. Rising costs also are having a significant impact, particularly on our Meals on Wheels program. Food costs are at an all-time high, and fuel and vehicle maintenance costs have risen, as well.”
Yeager said that through August of this year, SourcePoint had served 1,747 individuals with in-home care and had provided over 1,300 programs in the enrichment center, which has a membership of over 3,700 adults aged at least 55.
“Meals on Wheels production is up, too,” she said. “Through September, we’re up over 17% compared to last year. We expect to serve over 275,000 meals by year end.”
If approved, the levy would last for five years, commencing in 2023.
“This funding will allow us to sustain the vital aging services we have put in place for the last 30 years and maintain our support of the growing older population in Delaware County,” Yeager said.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.