Prince William Office of Housing and Community Development Director Elijah Johnson recently received the Sen. Charles J. Colgan Advocacy Award from the Independence Empowerment Center.

Colgan, a long-time Virginia senator, presented the award at the IEC open house on Tuesday.

 Johnson received the award for his efforts in three areas: Obtaining 70 non-elderly, disabled housing vouchers from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for Prince William area residents; reducing the waiting list for Section 8 housing; and applying for monies from the “Money Following the Person Grant Program.”

The program helps nursing home residents return to their own homes, if possible.

The program obviously incorporates independent living for many different classifications of people in its goals.  However, Corey Stewart missed the mark in his response and tried to take credit for being ‘senior friendly’:

Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey A. Stewart  praised the housing department’s efforts.

“Assuring our elderly and disabled population have safe, affordable housing has always been a priority of the board,” Stewart said. “This award recognizes the hard work of Elijah and the entire department in securing the necessary funds and grants to help these citizens.”

 The Independence Empowerment Center, Inc. bills itself as a community-based, nonprofit, non-residential service and advocacy organization operated by and for people with disabilities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Their service area covers Prince William and Fauquier counties, as well as the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.

Stand back before lightning strikes.  Is this the same Corey Stewart who would not commit to V.O.I.C.E. in their quest to find low income housing?  (Instead he babbled something about stamping out the ‘scourge of abortion.’)  Might this be the same Corey Stewart who led efforts to do away with the senior day care center in western Prince William County?  Is this the same Corey Stewart who removed funding from the senior citizen transportation services?  You remember, the van services to get seniors around the county?

Obviously seniors, the disabled and kids are the most vulnerable citizens when it comes to budget cuts because those are the areas our BOCS went straight for when making budget cut decisions.  Behaviorally disturbed kids now are either in the Joe Gibbs Youth for Tomorrow program or in foster care.   ARC, (American Retarded Citizens) barely got to keep their weaving store open.  They continually had to appear before the BOCS and beg to get to remain open.  The Blue Bird senior bus program was severely cut back. 

Things don’t go quite as well for seniors, the disabled and the behaviorally challenged as we might want to project at election time.  One just has to review the minutes of the BOCS meetings for a quick jolt back to reality.