TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
Residents of the Mixon Manor apartment complex on 3rd Street in Barbourville who enjoy getting outside during the spring, summer and autumn days now have the ability to do so “officially” after a ribbon-cutting ceremony held there Tuesday.
Barbourville Mayor David Thompson and city council members Sherman Lawson and Darren West joined with representatives from KCEOC Community Action Agency and residents of the apartment complex to celebrate the addition of a shelter and picnic tables for residents of the Manor.
KCEOC operates the Manor.
“We’ve planned on building shelter out there for some time,” Thompson said, adding that a metal carport had previously been donated.
But when city officials learned they could use Coal Severance money to fund a shelter for the Manor, they jumped at the chance.
“This severance money made a very nice project out of it,” Thompson said.
He explained the city “poured the concrete and built the shelter,” with those funds.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the proportion of people age 65 and older will grow to 17.7 percent in 2020.
That’s a 41.6 percent increase from only 12.5 percent in 1990.
“The need to provide seniors with a variety of living options is more important now than ever” said Jennifer Smith, KCEOC vice-president. “As a community, we want to stand by our older neighbors by ensuring there are adequate resources in our communities to accommodate the needs of this growing population.”
She said that was one of the main reasons for the addition of the shelter.
“This new picnic shelter and sidewalk will help support a socially and physically healthy lifestyle for senior residents as they enter the next stage of their lives,” Smith added.
The new shelter offers an outdoor space for residents to be social without excluding those with special physical needs.
“The sidewalks provide handicap accessibility where before, there was none (to this outdoor area,” Thompson said. “This is another project that shows if you work with partnerships, something like this can happen — something that people can use.”
Mixon Manor is a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 202 Project Rental Assistance Contract (PRAC) housing project designed to serve the low-income population, ages 62 and older.
The facility is designed to help its tenants live with independence in a safe, friendly environment and provides 20 affordable housing units for the elderly population in the area.
KCEOC Community Action Partnership developed and owns the housing project, which is managed by Franklin Asset Management.