From the Maryville Daily Times:
After 11 years as the Director of the local Office on Aging, which falls under Blount County Community Action Agency, Joanie Shaver is stepping down. However, she is not stopping her efforts to help Senior Citizens in the local community. She is transitioning to oversee a project called Safer Homes for Seniors.

Blount County is lucky to have this woman from Michigan to help our Senior Citizens. She is an angel disguised as a not so ordinary citizen.

"They (Senior Citizens) are living on what they have now and there is no opportunity to get more,” Shaver explained. “That was a major revelation to me. They are at the end of their lives. A lot of times they are reaping what they have sown throughout their lives. If it wasn’t sown well, they are paying the price.”

"Subsidized housing, public transportation, health care and helping seniors get their earned benefits became Shaver’s focus."

"She created a senior exercise program."
"She also works to put out a senior services directory each year. "
She organized and started "the Senior Miles, or SMiles program that offer rides to seniors are low cost."
"She wrote a grant to fund a Benefits Enrollment Center that now has an infrastructure of employees trained to assist seniors or their caregivers... helping people sign up for benefits like food stamps or Medicare."
"Because of Shaver’s work, seniors in Blount County have received more than $4 million in benefits

"As Shaver closes out her career as director of the Office on Aging, she is gearing up to oversee the Safer Homes program under BCCAA. A huge part of this is building ramp for seniors so they can stay in their homes. Shaver is partnering with a volunteer group at Habitat for Humanity and local churches. To date, they have been able to provide 20 ramps."

Many thanks to this woman from Michigan. We are lucky she landed in our community.


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