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Federal grant connects older low-income volunteers with homebound seniors in Central Florida

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Volunteers for Community Impact also trains seniors -- shown hear in 2018 -- to volunteer as foster grandparents. Photo: Volunteers for Community Impact

Nearly $263,000 in American Rescue Plan funds is going toward a Central Florida program designed to connect older low-income volunteers with homebound seniors.

U.S. Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., announced the 2-year grant on Tuesday. It also involves about $54,000 in local support.

Volunteers for Community Impact Executive Director Hue Jacobs says the grant will provide stipends for 35 to 50 senior volunteers each year. They’ll offer companionship services to help 50 frail seniors age in place at home.

“As people age, they want to remain in their own home,” he says. “No one wants to be institutionalized. So this program is going to keep people living independently in their own homes for as long as possible.”

Volunteers will visit three to four hours a day, doing household chores, running errands, preparing meals, and giving caregivers a much-needed break.

Jacobs says his nonprofit works with senior volunteers in Orange, Osceola, Volusia and Seminole counties.

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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.