NewsPinellas County

Actions

Charity helping seniors faces tough decisions during search for new space

Posted at 11:55 AM, Nov 06, 2019

CLEARWATER, Fla. — An organization working to help seniors across the Tampa Bay region says it may have to consider shutting down or scaling back if it can't find new warehouse space.

Saving Our Seniors helps connect medical equipment, everything from pull-ups to power wheelchairs, to seniors at discounted prices.

"It’s truly really impacting our senior community because right now a lot of the resources in our community have such a wait list," said its founder, Kelli Casto.

Casto said she started the organization several years ago, and has seen it grow since.

"I started it in my one bedroom apartment and then overnight it grew from 50 pieces of equipment to over 4,000," she said.

Right now, Casto says she keeps donated equipment in donated warehouse space, but will soon no longer be able to store it there.

"It’s coming to an end and we’re unfortunately unable to find a new donated warehouse space or one we could be able to afford within our budget," she said.

Casto said if she can't find a space she will have to consider shutting down or scaling back.

"It’s something I don’t want to be able to do because I know of all the seniors I have helped and how many more people we can help in the community," Casto said.

Casto estimates around 5,000 people across the Bay area have been helped, including Elizabeth Rubright. Rubright said she met Casto after facing a health setback and realizing she would need equipment at home.

"It was really a godsend because she found first a walker for me, and then later on this little beauty, this scooter, which has absolutely opened up my life," Rubright said.

Rubright doesn't want to see the service provided to seniors altered.

"She’s providing a service to our community that should not be overlooked. It’s needed, it’s necessary," she said.

Casto said she has until around mid-November to find a new space.