VETERANS SERVICES REDUCED AT SENIOR CENTERS
Let us give credit where credit is due. If it were not for the Leadership of Flushing Area Senior Center Director Mr. Greg Matheson, Veterans would be forced to travel or be bussed to downtown Flint and undoubtedly left for hours waiting to return home. While our city council expressed frustration and resentment at the County’s decision, we are grateful for the work Mr. Matheson provided for Flushing to not lose, in its entirety, VSO services for our Veterans.
For many years, Veterans have been assured they will receive the benefits they were entitled to monthly at the Senior Centers. This was due to dedicated millage funding. The City of Flushing in 2023 was levied $23,012.37 in taxes in support of our Veterans. According to the 2020 Census 400 Veterans live in Flushing City.
On September 11, 2023 (a tragic and historic day in our country’s history) our Senior Centers, without notice or discussion, were abruptly notified by the County that VSO services to our Veterans ceased to exist. They demanded our Veterans travel or be bussed to the downtown Flint Administration Building. County Veterans Director cited, “We have found we can provide a better and more efficient experience.”
Upon learning the information, the Senior Centers shared their immediate concerns of this drastic change and additional barriers our Veterans will face.
On October 19, some five weeks later, the county finally met with all Senior Center Directors. Josh Freeman, Director of County Administration, MTA and Commissioners Dale Weighill and Martin Cousineau were in attendance. There, the Center Directors, discovered the data used by the County to formalize their decision was “flawed” and “inaccurate.” Specifically, data counts of Veteran VSO appointments were counted on Holiday’s or days where VSO services were not even offered. Names of Veterans were not accurate.
On November 29, another meeting occurred with the Veterans Services Administration where they provided a revised center schedule and changes in the appointments for our Veterans Services.
WHAT ARE THE CHANGES?
1. VSO Services for Veterans are now offered every other month (instead of every month).
2. VSO Services are now rotated between Swartz Creek and Flushing Senior Centers.
3. Under the new schedule, Flushing will be afforded one day of appointments every other month, starting on the 4th Wednesday in February. On that day, FASC will have eleven 30-minute appointments.
4. Vets to Wellness will transport vets to and from home to any one of the central hub centers. It would be up to the veterans to schedule it, but they can reach out to the Department of Veterans Services for assistance. FASC will make every effort to transport Flushing Veterans to and from.
5. No additional funding provided to Flushing Senior Center (AFSC). FASC provides bussing and dedicated volunteers. We hope this will be sustainable with the changes made by the County.
6. Starting in January, veterans across the county will be able to go to one of four different central hub centers each month with a total of 41 appointments available. See schedule below:
a. Clio – 1st Wednesday of each month – 10 appointments
b. Loose – 2nd Tuesday of each month – 10 appointments
c. Flushing or Swartz Creek – 4th Wednesday of each month – 11 appointments
d. Davison or Grand Blanc – 4th Friday of each month – 10 appointments
While this plan, overall, reduces services while your taxes have increased, we are again grateful this plan keeps our Veterans, as best as possible, in the community they live in.
Photo of County plan to redistribute Veterans Services and original notice ceasing services to Senior
Flushing Area Senior Center website:
Genesee County Department Of Veterans Services website: