HAMLIN—The Hamlin Senior Center was recently awarded $57,656 through the Pennsylvania Department of Aging Senior Community Center Grant program, funded by the Pennsylvania Lottery, distributed in time for Older Americans Month.

“I'm really excited for Hamlin to get that grant because they've been looking to spruce it up for a while,” said Wayne County Aging Administrator, Mary Ursich.

Aimed to facilitate building upgrades, grant funding is earmarked for a new roof, flooring and painting.

Part of the funding will also go towards establishment of a new wellness program for seniors.

Ursich explained this program is an expansion of one already active in the Honesdale Senior Center.

Seniors check in twice per week for monitoring and recording of their vitals. Anomalies and downturns in health and condition if found can be reported to attendees primary care physicians.

The Hamlin Senior Center sees an average of 25 individuals each day, coming from the surrounding areas in Wayne and Lackawanna Counties.

Since the senior center is operated out of the Salem Township building, improvements made through the grant will benefit the municipal building as well.

Ursich noted of the township, “They've been a really great partner over the years.”

An initial start date and length of time for the construction is yet to be determined, though Ursich hopes the center will be able to continue operations while the improvements are being made.

The $57,000 going to Hamlin Senior Center is part of $2 million distributed to 49 senior centers statewide.

“Senior community centers are vital to ensuring that older Pennsylvanians can age in place,” said Governor Tom Wolf in a press release. “These grants empower senior centers to modernize facilities, expand programming, and attract a new generation of participants.”

Senior centers have a wide variety of offerings that may include nutritious meal programs, educational opportunities, transportation services, financial and insurance counseling, exercise programs, and more.

Acting Secretary of Aging Robert Torres stated in a release, “Pennsylvania has more than 500 senior community centers and they serve as an access point for older adults in need of services. This $2 million investment will benefit the senior population of today, and for generations to come.”

Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Lottery, Drew Svitko stated in a release, “The Pennsylvania Lottery is proud to be able to say that we remain the nation’s only lottery to dedicate all proceeds to programs that benefit older adults.

“We are excited that 49 senior centers will benefit from these funds. Since the very first ticket was sold in 1972, the Lottery has generated more than $29 billion for programs that benefit older Pennsylvanians, while continuing to focus on and promote responsible gaming.”

—Information from a release was used in this story.