COMMUNITY RALLIES TO SAVE SENIOR CENTER FROM EVICTION

Adriano Espaillat

September 09, 2016

(New York NY)-  Today, scores of seniors from across Northern Manhattan rallied with community leaders and elected officials to call on ARC Fort Washington Senior Center's landlord, Christ Church NYC, to renew the center's lease agreement. ARC Senior Center’s lease ends December 31st putting the center, which has been at its current location for 15 years, at risk of eviction.

This is the second community rally aimed at saving the senior center, which serves hundreds of seniors a day and thousands a year. Providing seniors from 110th street to 220th street with a hot meal, activities and other important services.

ARC Ft. Washington Senior Center is a neighborhood institution, that has served the senior community for 43 years. Yearly, thousands of local seniors rely on the free meals, social services, free transportation and social activities that ARC provides 250 days a year.

"Hundreds of seniors from as far down as 110th street and as far up as 220th street, river to river, rely on ARC Ft. Washington everyday for a hot meal, fun activities and essential services. We will not leave them without a place to go," said State Senator Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan/Bronx). "We will fight to keep this four-decade old institution right here in Washington Heights, and when this community comes together there is nothing we cannot achieve."

"ARC Ft. Washington is an institution of Washington Heights and is an instrumental resource for our community's valued seniors," said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. "We will not rest until this senior center is preserved and the many who use it can rest easy that their treasured home away from home safe from eviction."

"Our senior center has served this community for over four decades, providing hot meals, social work services, transportation and activities to thousands of seniors annually, and we want to stay here so we can continue to serve this community for decades to come," said ARC XVI Fort Washington Senior Center Executive Director Fern Hertzberg. "We believe in providing a better quality of life for our seniors in this community, supporting them in remaining in their homes and living with dignity, but we cannot do that without this space."

“For decades, the ARC XVI Fort Washington Senior Center has served thousands of seniors in Northern Manhattan and we will not let this critical resource be taken away. Today we’re doing what Washington Heights residents have always done: organizing, standing up, and fighting back.  The bottom line is, these elderly New Yorkers built our City and they deserve access to the resources they need,” New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer said.

“The ARC Fort Washington Senior Center is an anchor providing crucial services for seniors not just in one neighborhood, but for all of northern Manhattan,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I stand with northern Manhattan’s elected officials and with the thousands of seniors who are served by this center, and urge the center’s landlord, Christ Church United Methodist, to work with us in good faith to keep this institution’s doors open.”

 "ARC Ft. Washington is an upper Manhattan institution that has served our seniors with distinction for four decades," said Council Member Mark Levine. "This community is known for coming together to support one another and today is no different as we rally side-by-side to save a special piece in the network of resources that keep our neighborhoods whole."

“Manhattan Community Board 12 continues to stand behind ARC Fort Washington Senior Center.  The services that ARC provides to our seniors are valuable and necessary.  We need to protect and preserve community resources such as ARC,” said Community Board 12 chair Shah Ally”

"ARC Senior Center is a valuable resource in our community and we must do everything possible to save it.  It is a second home and safe haven for many senior and we must preserve this community treasure," said Maria Lizardo, Executive Director of Northern Manhattan Improvement Corp.