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'Escalating violence' contributes to closure of Edmonton senior's centre: board of directors

The Operation Friendship Seniors Society said decreased funding and increased safety concerns led to the decision to end services at the McCauley Seniors Drop In at 9526-106 Avenue. The Operation Friendship Seniors Society said decreased funding and increased safety concerns led to the decision to end services at the McCauley Seniors Drop In at 9526-106 Avenue.
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The Operation Friendship Seniors Society (OFSS) announced Wednesday that it would be shutting down services at the McCauley Seniors drop-in facility.

"We can no longer ensure the safety of our seniors, volunteers and staff at this site," wrote the board of directors in a press release.

The OFSS is a non-profit society providing services to inner-city seniors in Edmonton. The organization has been operating in Edmonton since 1969 and runs several housing facilities in central Edmonton.

In the announcement, OFSS cited increasing acts of vandalism at the McCauley centre, located at 9526-106 Avenue, including slashed tires and smashed windshields on staff vehicles.

With decreased funding, the organization said they can no longer afford to run services, make repairs after increasing acts of vandalism and protect residents and staff.

"The escalating violence directed at our seniors, volunteers and staff has forced OFSS to hire additional security 24/7," the board wrote. "This cost is not sustainable."

OFSS will continue to offer services at other facilities, and the organization said it's working to find a safer location to resume the drop-in program.

A list of facilities or more information on programs and volunteer options can be found on the OFSS website.  

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