Community Rallies for Senior Center - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Community Rallies for Senior Center

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Yellowstone County Commissioners are calling it the best project they have going.

Community members are rallying to build a senior-living and community center in Huntley Project. "We know on a grass-roots level there is a basic need for this. But, to have them come forth with the numbers is more than you could ever hope for," former Worden teacher, Jean Ott said.

Ott and senior housing advocate, Sarah Fowler, spoke to county commissioners on Tuesday about the need for a senior center. "This is where my home is, this is where I found a home, this is where I found friends, and these friends are dear enough I can call family. And, this is where I want to stay, and this is absolutely where I choose to live the rest of my life," Worden senior housing advocate, Sarah Fowler, said.

Fowler said she's pleased with the county commissioners' support to research the project. "This is America, folks. We have a right to choose, and we choose to stay in our own community," Fowler said.

In early January, Montana Governor Steve Bullock, awarded Yellowstone County a $30,000 Community Development Planning Grant to research the need for the venture. And, County Commissioner Bill Kennedy said the information will allow them to apply for grants to fund the facility. "I just think this project is one of the best projects we have going, and it will be around for the future," County Commissioner, Bill Kennedy, said.

Commissioner Kennedy said with 40 percent of Yellowstone County residents living outside limits the need seems apparent. Kennedy said he hopes to have bidders in place within six months. Organizers said the next steps will include a senior housing needs assessment, market study and income survey. That means researchers will be interviewing Huntley Project Community members face-to-face to gather information.