A resident at the Julian Steele Elderly Housing Complex on Washington Street asked Mayor James Fiorentini on Tuesday to have a shelter installed for seniors who wait outside the complex for the bus.
"Right now they wait outside in the rain and cold weather. I just moved here two years ago and I've been pushing for this. I think it would be a great thing to have," said resident David Safran.
Fiorentini said he thought that was a good idea, adding that the city needs to get better word out regarding the elder transportation provided in the city.
The mayor and a crew from Trinity EMS, the city's ambulance company, visited the senior housing complex on Tuesday, Aug. 26.
During the visit, they were able to discuss their concerns regarding the city with the mayor while getting free blood pressure screenings from Trinity EMTs.
"We talked one day and he said he had been to another city and saw the mayor there doing blood pressure screenings and wanted to learn how to do it. I thought it was a great idea. Who would think a city administrator would find the time to sit down with them and do something like this? We've been doing it for three years now," said Marianne Bitner, director of clinical services for Trinity EMS, adding that Trinity is on hand in case there is someone with an abnormal blood pressure who needs medical attention or medical advice.
Fiorentini and Trinity have done these visits throughout the city at places such as Phoenix Row, Kennedy Circle and the Citizens Center on several occasions. This is the first time at Julian Steele.
"Many senior citizens benefit from this because even though they have a nurse come in, most are on cardiac medications or blood pressure medications and need to have it checked more often. This is a good way to help residents and make sure they get the medications they need," Bitner said.
After speaking with each resident, Fiorentini addressed the group as a whole, first touching on the renovations to the old shoe factories downtown.
"The old shoe factories are coming back to life with housing and I know it was a controversial issue with many of you, but those buildings were a fire waiting to happen. It was only a matter of time before someone got hurt," Fiorentini said.
He also spoke of the recession the country is now facing.
"We are in the middle of a recession and we're all worried about it. Many seniors are going to have to worry about heating their homes and paying for medications with the rising costs. It's disgraceful that people have to choose between buying food or medication," Fiorentini said.
The city is hoping to try and raise money to help pay for heating and medications for the seniors in the community, Fiorentini said.