Senior Citizen Vs. The City

Some senior citizens in West Roxbury are upset with the city.

They say they've gone without programming at the Ohrenberger Community Center since October.

"Nobody said don't put the seniors in there they just said we're going to pull the management and security," said David Gorman Jr, 86, of West Roxbury.

In the fall the Boston Center for Youth and Families changed the Ohrenberger manager's schedule from a day shift to an afternoon-evening night shift.

"They changed the hours to take all city personnel out of the Ohrenberger center in the morning," said Gorman. "Without the city management and security of the building we're unable to run programs."

Gorman says a 1970's agreement between the Ohrenberger Council and the city hasn't been followed.

"They said it's an old piece of paper, just throw it away," said Gorman.

He said the council plans the programs while the city should provide the coordinator but the BCYF said that's not the case.

"It's always been their position to fill," said Michael Sulprizio, the deputy commissioner of BCYF.

He said the senior coordinator position at the center has been vacant for a year now.

"We've met with folks several times at the site council encouraging them to please hire the position so that the seniors can continue to use the building," said Sulprizio. "It's accessible (the community center), it's ready to go and they refused to hire that position."

Gorman who's on the council says that's a responsibility too big for a group of volunteers.

"We have no way to manage somebody because we only meet once a month," said Gorman.

According to Sulprizio the manager's scheduled was changed to accommodate the increase in participation of its evening and weekend programs.

Sulprizio said The Foundation for BCYF has hired a new program coordinator set to start Monday but Gorman is skeptical.

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