Union County Council on Aging and Aged


Phyllis’ Dream

Phyllis Howard
Phyllis C. Howard

In the early 1970’s Phyllis C. Howard began dreaming. She was a woman of vision just at the right time for Union County.

In 1965 the Older Americans Act established aging services across the United States. Phyllis was involved in several organizations whose purpose it was to address the needs of rural women. It was natural then for her to pick up the torch for the elderly and disabled in her community.

Phyllis wrote her first transportation grant in 1974 and was awarded funding for a senior van. In 1975 she purchased this first van and began providing transportation for the elderly of Union County. That first van was used to transport seniors for recreational, business, and medical needs.

In 1975, Phyllis in cooperation with the Union County School Corporation established the first congregate meal site in a seminar room at the Union County High School.

Phyllis continued to broadened her vision. The Area 9 Agency on Aging soon began encouraging Phyllis to seek more funding and establish more senior programs for the people of Union County by forming a more structured organization.

Union County Council on Aging and Aged, Inc. was established in 1977 as a non-profit agency that would, and does, promote programs to improve the social, emotional, and physical well being of our community.

Also in 1977, Union County Council on Aging obtained Title III funds to purchase a mobile home to use as a senior center. The senior center became the new site for the meal site and nutrition program, an Outreach program for the homebound, and the transportation service.

Phyllis also established two satellite meal sites, one in Brownsville and one in College Corner, IN.

In 1982, Union County Council on Aging moved into the public transportation arena and established Union County Transit. No longer exclusively senior transportation, Union County transit with expanded funding sources, was able to provide more and improved transportation services for all people in Union County.

While transportation needs in the county have always been a priority, other needs had been determined too. There was an increasing need for senior housing. In 1981, Union County Council on Aging was awarded a 202 Section 8 HUD contract for very low income elderly and disabled.

After Southview Courts’ completion in 1983, Union County Council on Aging moved its offices and the Area 9 meal site to Southview Courts. Southview Courts also became the designated senior center for Union County.

Union County Council on Aging was also expanding other programs. From its inception as the Outreach program, Union County Council on Aging was providing homemaker and handyman services for Franklin and Union. In 1985 this program became accredited.

Consequently in 1989 Tri-Homecare was established and accredited by the National Home Caring Council. In 1990 Tri-Homecare became licensed by the Indiana State Board of Health as a home health agency.

With the transportation, housing, and home health services expanding and maintaining themselves, the Union County Council on Aging had time to think of the future. Phyllis began to expand her dreams. Dreams that included a Community Care Center that would offer service programs and day care for children and adults.

In 1993, Union County Council on Aging in partnership with the Union County Commissioners began the long process of securing grants to accomplish this dream. This project was temporarily interrupted in 1996 with the unexpected death of Phyllis C. Howard. It was a big blow to the community.

From 1996 to the summer of 1998 Union County Council on Aging continued to work on Phyllis’ project for a community care center. Building was started in the fall of 1997.

During the winter of 1997 Union County Council on Aging began its pilot program for adult day services at Southview Courts. It was moved to the new building January 1999.

The Phyllis C. Howard Community Care center was dedicated on November 7, 1998. It housed Head Start, WIC, Healthy Families, child day care, and Friendship Place adult day services.