ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - A non-profit in Roanoke is working to ensure that seniors in public housing have the health care they need.
For those who live off of a very small fixed income, necessities like eye glasses and dental care often are not affordable.
The non-profit Joint Residence Council (JRC), which represents those living in public housing is working to change that.
For the first time, Marian Cuff can see again. She now sits with friends in her spare time, and works on a puzzle. Something she wasn't able to do without glasses.
More than just sight, she says she's gained independence.
"It's not just not only being able to read it book. It's going to the grocery store and you can't pick up something and look at a price," Cuff said.
Cuff is just one of hundreds that make up the joint residence council. JRC President Duane Smith says they strive to change the perception of those living in public housing.
"A lot of time it's not by choice. A lot of people have successful backgrounds, but because of circumstances like health, financial, family they end up living in public housing," Smith said.
The council works to make sure they have a voice, and can regain their independence.
A recent forty- thousand dollar grant by the foundation for the Roanoke Valley has allowed seniors the ability to see and eat foods they need and love again. It's also giving them self-confidence they didn't have before this assistance.
Carolyn Williams is one of those residents. She says not only is she able to better eat meals, she feels more comfortable in public.
"The first thing people look at is your face. Now I can smile."
Smiles that the council hopes to give to many more residents in need.
If you would like to donate to JRC donations can be mailed to 3038 Melrose Ave NW #101 Roanoke, VA 24017.
For more information call: (540)-491-9474.