Harrison County Supervisor, Windy Swetman and Director of Senior Services for District One, Greg Bankston, make it a point to cater to the senior population. Four program managers assist them in implementing the fun and interesting offerings that are scheduled week after week, month after month. The Red Barnett Center is a 2 million dollar investment, built in 2007, that is primarily used for the health and well being of senior citizens.
The Red Barnett Center came to be under the leadership of the former Board Supervisor, and in 2008, Windy Swetman took office and continued to build upon this wonderful facility. He added a first class exercise room and an indoor heated swimming pool. “I have always been taught to respect my elders. Our seniors have worked hard all through life and they are known as the ‘greatest generation’ in American history. They deserve to enjoy the fruits of their labor and it is my job and my pleasure to advocate for them,” Swetman said. The center was named in honor of D’Iberville business man, Red Barnett, who invested heavily in the community through business ventures. He was known for his generosity towards the citizens of D’Iberville, and was also a mentor for Supervisor Bobby Eleuteris.
It is unsure as to the exact senior population in Harrison county but they all certainly have a strong and well respected voice in the community. Windy Swetman is available to address senior concerns and is eager to be of assistance whenever needed. He regularly works with federal partners to advocate for seniors and recently joined with HMA to announce a new hospital in Harrison County Medical Park at Cedar Lake. Did you know that CTA is contracted through Harrison County to assist seniors with transportation issues? You can find out about these services through the Red Barnett Center and they will be more than happy to make arrangements for you!
The amenities at the Red Barnett Center are available Monday through Friday, 7:00 A.M to 6 P.M. Computer training is offered at the center, as well as dance classes! Each month the “Seniors Extra” meeting is held, sponsored by the Biloxi Regional. The heated pool provides a delightful way to unwind and relax, especially following a work out in the fully appointed fitness room. Field trips are scheduled often, taking everyone to places of interest around town and out of state. Recent trips included the Biloxi Visitors Center, Local Casinos, shopping in Foley, Alabama, and the Alligator Farm in Louisiana. There is never a fee for the transportation but seniors are responsible to pay for their tickets when a ticket is required at a venue. “It is great fun with a lot of diversity for all. We offer everything from dance classes, health fairs, arts and crafts, pottery, water aerobics and lunch socials,” Swetman said.
All activities are posted on the website at harrisonone.com. If you want to check out what is going on the good old fashioned way, a flyer is available on the activity boards at the center, with a calendar that clearly indicates the schedule so you won’t miss a thing. “The afternoon dancing is always lively and I really enjoy watching them ‘Break it Down.’ I am also regularly challenged to step up and play ‘pickel ball.’ Everyone always has a great time together,” Swetman said. The thoughtful staff at the Red Barnett Center also offer a Senior Outreach Program for those who cannot leave their homes. Services are very limited but contact Carolyn Handler if this is of interest to you.
“I cannot say enough about what the staff does for our seniors. Harrison County is committed to making sure we give back and show our appreciation,” Supervisor Swetman said in closing.

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