CREATED Oct. 7, 2013
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Retired Army Colonel Glenn Matsumoto spends his days at Senior Friendship Centers' Adult Daycare.
"The reason I come here is for the friendship, it's really great to belong here," Matsumoto said.
Matsumoto and the other seniors play games, make crafts and eat snacks.
"I enjoy the companionship here," Matsumoto said.
But adult daycare and other services Senior Friendship Centers provides could be in jeopardy if the government shutdown doesn't end soon.
"The length that it has been going on is unexpected and what's going to happen if it continues. Right now I have been told we are okay, it just depends on how much longer it drags out," Eric Flusche, Senior Friendship Centers' Supportive Aging Services Director, said.
Senior Friendship Centers already had to cut about $180,000 from its budget because of sequestration. It put the nutrition program on hold and consolidated dining sites, so if the shutdown continues into November, it would have to make even more reductions.
"For the client, it could be potentially devastating. In a lot of cases, this is their lifeline," Flusche said.
Without the meals, home help and daycare services, some seniors would have to turn to nursing homes.
"Which in the end is ultimately going to cost more money, significantly more money," Flusche said.
It's something Matsumoto hopes doesn't happen.
"I enjoy coming here," Matsumoto said.