Sen. Stavisky, Assemblywoman Meng, Seniors Protest Threatened Budget Cuts that Could Close More than 100 Senior Centers
The state’s proposed budget cuts could mean closing more than 100 of the city’s senior centers and deprive thousands of seniors of a place to get a hot meal, socialize, get exercise and basic health checks such as blood pressure screenings. For many seniors, the centers serve as their only lifeline to the outside world.
Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky, Assemblywoman Grace Meng, Senior Center Directors from Selfhelp Community Services, Inc. and other providers in Eastern Queens Eastern Queens met at the Selfhelp Benjamin Rosenthal Senior Center in Flushing to call on the Governor to reallocate a portion of Federal Title XX funding that has traditionally gone to Senior Centers back to New York City. Officials from Selfhelp delivered a petition with more than 500 signatures to the elected officials.
"If the senior centers close, where will our seniors go, what will they eat?” Assemblywoman Meng asked. “In addition, the social and emotional consequences that these closures bring about will have a far more serious impact than can even be imagined now."
"The proposal to take $22 million in federal money from the Department for the Aging, would mean closing more than 100 of our senior centers. The burden would be the greatest on our senior citizens – the people who are clearly the most vulnerable, living with the highest rate of poverty,” Sen. Stavisky said. “This shortsighted proposal will be hardest on our homebound elderly. Our projections show a cut like this will end up costing more in the long run in terms of care.”
In the photo (l. to r.): Vera Fogelman; Jane Qiu (hidden behind Vera) of Selfhelp Rosenthal Center; Bobbie Sackman, public policy director at the Council of Senior Centers and Services of New York City; Michael Wang, director of the CPC (Chinese American Planning Council) Nan Shan Center; Sen. Stavisky, Assemblywoman Meng