Seniors protest to keep senior center in Ocean View

Posted at 1:58 PM, Apr 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-10 23:15:58-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Senior citizens joined together in front of the city courthouse Tuesday with posters and a petition hoping to keep their senior center in Ocean View.

It’s not the typical group you expect to see with protest signs out in the cold.

These elder citizens say their senior center is going to be torn down this summer.

They say they were made a promise by Norfolk City Council that they would be moved to different building in Ocean View.

“They didn’t want to go through the cost of bringing that building up to code for it being a senior center, so they abandoned that idea without us knowing about it and said, 'Well you will go to Primeplus and that will be okay,'” Judith Oer said.

In March 2017,  city council sold land on E. Ocean View Avenue. The site is across from the Community Beach Park - and right where the senior center currently sits.

Now city council plans to move the seniors to the Primeplus Center at Norfolk Fitness Center - a move they say not everyone is capable of making.

“They are not going to go over there, so what is going to happen to them? They are going to be sitting in their homes and apartments. They are not going to have their mental and physical stimulation that they need as they age,” Oer said.

Eddie Matney, who, like many of the protesters, says he needs the center says the city has offered to get the seniors bus tickets to Wards Corner, but he says many won’t be able to make the trip each week.

“Right now our center has weekly attendance from 60-80 people “ Matney said.

He says many of the seniors are low-income and depend on the senior center in Ocean View.

News 3 reached out to city council but did not hear back.