WARREN - After 15 days of having to cut back on programs and suspend services for veterans, the United Methodist Community Center, housed at the First United Methodist Church on Park Avenue in Warren, will reopen Monday.
Juanita Paisley, executive director of the center, said Friday that the local agency serves as an example of one of many - and perhaps lesser-known groups - that had to close its doors because of of the partial federal government shutdown on Oct. 1. Following approval of a budget compromise late Wednesday that gets funding flowing again, the center plans to reopen its doors Monday.
''We are up and running again on all services. The shutdown did affect many of our programs. We did continue a few services then, but we weren't operating at 100 percent. We hope the veterans will get back in touch with us so we can continue to assist them with the services we offer to them,'' Paisley said.
The center operates on federal funding through the United States Department of Labor and will now be back and operating at 100 percent, she said.
The center has been contacting the veterans on its list to let them know, Paisley said. The center offers a lunch and learn program, and programs to help veterans find employment.
''We are helping to service veterans and their families. We are also starting the Christmas Angel tree program, offering Zumba classes, and offering a food distribution to help area families and our clients,'' she said.
She said such centers have gone from recreational center to more of a social services agencies.
''We are now in the hub of the city where we can reach more people,'' Paisley said of the recent move from the former Rebecca Williams Center on South Main Street to the church site.
Barbara Beach with the organization a number of homeless veterans used the center.
The Rev. Rick Oaks, pastor of the church, said that while the programs were stopped, the church took advantage of the break to pave and stripe the parking lot.