HONESDALE—The Wayne County Board of Commissioners executed a agreement on May 31 with the Senior Community Center Grant for $112,616 received for capital improvements at the Hawley Senior Center.

Area Agency on Aging Administrator Mary Ursich explained the funds will be put toward “... fixing some structural issues in the kitchen.”

“The kitchen was added, I believe, in the 1950s as a second edition. There's a very bad crack. There's some issues with ventilation and insulation that needs to be done,” she said.

Part of the funding will also go towards replacing some tables and chairs in the facility, “... and add a shuffleboard table by popular request of the Hawley participants.”

Human Services Block Grant

On June 7, the Board of Commissioners approved the submission of the annual Human Services Block Grant, a total allocation of $2,516,166 set to be sent out on June 11.

Behavioral Health Program Director Michelle Valinski explained last week the monies are planned to be used for five key priorities.

The first, aimed at housing and transportation projects, looks to advance the department's Riverview Project.

This project would supply housing for those discharged from Clarks Summit State Hospital, or exist as transitional housing as a diversion to being admitted there.

The second priority looks to modify an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Team.

“We do not currently have that service in our community,” said Vallinski. “It is similar to the Dual Diagnosis Treatment Team that we have for individuals who have intellectual disabilities.”

The goal of the ACT team is to “keep individuals in the community as stable as we can,” said the administrator.

The third priority involves providing updated crisis services in the community and improving their function.

The fourth priority for the grant funding looks to establish a Regional Long-Term Structured Residence (LTSR).

“It is a step down to Clark Summit State Hospital,” Valinski explained. “It is a secure facility that provides 24-hour staff and supervision for a large number of individuals.”

The final priority seeks to establish a Hoarding Task Force in the area.

Noting the closes therapist to assist individuals with hoarding issues is in Lehigh County, Valinski said “It's been a real struggle to assist the consumers that we have in our community. We don't have the resources here, so we'd like to get our community together, pool our resources and see what we can do to better serve these individuals.”