LAURIUM - There is a large population of elderly people living in Calumet and Laurium, and some of those people are working to create a place where seniors can gather for activities and companionship.
Bill Bourland, who lives in Calumet and is president of the Calumet and Laurium Holistic Citizen Center, Inc., said the group is looking for a separate building or space in a building for a future center.
There used to be a senior center in Laurium in a building on Hecla Street, but Bourland said that group's membership fell to the level that they couldn't keep up payments for the building, which belongs to the village of Laurium, and it's been unused since 2010.
Kurt Hauglie/Daily Mining Gazette
The recently-created Calumet and Laurium Holistic Citizen Center, Inc. is looking for a building for a new senior center, such as the former C.L.K. Senior Citizens’ Center building on Hecla Street in Laurium.
Bourland said the group he's part of is separate from the previous senior group.
"Sometimes it takes a new vision to make this revitalize," he said.
Bourland said the ideas for a new senior center include a coffee room, a weekly soup kitchen, geriatric aerobic exercise equipment, emergency food pantry and teaching facilities. Ideally, a new senior center would include all those features.
Staffing for a senior center could come from volunteers or agencies which work with elderly people, such as the Community Action Agency, Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, and the Upper Peninsula Commission for Area Progress, Bourland said.
"We're going to try to deal with every agency we can," he said. "Until we actually get a building and see what we can do with them, it's hard to deal with them."
Bourland said members of the group would like, also, to have programs for health issues affecting elderly people, such as diabetes and heart problems. Depression brought on by isolation is an issue the center would deal with, also.
Having a place where seniors can interact and get involved would greatly help alleviate depression, Bourland said.
"We've got to get them active," he said. "Volunteering is a way to give people purpose."
Bourland said 70 percent of the population of Laurium are 55 years or older or handicapped.
The members of the Calumet and Laurium Holistic Citizen Center, Inc. have made an offer for the purchase of the former senior center building in Laurium, Bourland said. "That's the ideal place," he said.
However, Bourland said the members are willing to talk to other property owners about a building donation, also.
To make a monetary donation or to talk with Bourland about a building, mail to 57234 Rockland St. Calumet 49913, or call 337-0331.