Gateway I, a statewide program designed to make it easier for the elderly to find out about programs and services available to them, is being administered locally by the Montgomery County Division of Elder Affairs.

The service responds to inquiries for information and assistance related to Montgomery County's 81,000 people who are 60 and older, such as questions about rent relief for seniors.

Elderly residents may call 468-4443, visit the Holiday Park Senior Center at 3950 Ferrara Dr., Wheaton, or call the center to request a home visit.

In addition to simply information and referral services, the program offers counseling between 10 a.m. and noon and 1 and 3 p.m. weekdays. Evening hours are available on the last Wednesday of each month. Follow-up services are provided.

An updated Senior Citizens Guide to Services and Programs is to be available this month at the center, which is serving 1,050 clients with simple requests each month, and 120 people who need extensive information and guidance.

The Montgomery County government's central Information and Referral Office should still be contacted for general information that does not relate only to people over 60, such as where to obtain a driver's license or what office to contact for trash pickup. The phone number for the Information and Referral Office is 279-1900.