Six LES Senior Centers in Danger of Closing (Updated 7:05pm)

Bad news from the city today. Due to proposed budget cuts in Albany, 105 senior centers in the five boroughs may be forced to close. According to City Councilmember Margaret Chin’s office, six of those centers are on the Lower East Side. They are:

  • BRC Senior Nutrition Program, 30 Delancey
  • Educational Alliance, 197 East Broadway
  • LaGuardia Senior Center, 280 Cherry Street
  • Smith Houses Senior Center, 50 Madison Street
  • University Settlement Nutrition, 189 Allen Street
  • Polish & Slavic Center, 103 East 7th Street (District 2)

 

Last year, our elected officials and neighborhood activists fought to save LES senior centers and they were, for the most part, successful. This year, the budget climate is even worse, so it might be even more difficult to restore funding. More to come…

UPDATE 7:05pm: All but one of the centers are in District 1, Chin’s district. Tonight she released the following statement:

I have reached out to my fellow elected officials at the State and Federal level and we will stand united in protecting these… centers from being closed. Governor Cuomo’s budget again and again targets the most vulnerable members of our community — from seniors to our children. But I know that the seniors in lower Manhattan are ready to fight back. These senior centers are home to some of the proudest and tenacious members of our community. They will not let their way of life be attacked. They will not be victims. They will remind Governor Cuomo that there are people behind these budget numbers. Cutting funds for senior citizens severs a lifeline to integral health care, nutrition, and counseling services. In District 1, these cuts disproportionately affect centers that serve Asian-American, immigrant, and other underserved minority populations. It is because of this community’s widespread dependency on senior centers that we face such a high number of potential closures. It is textbook cutting services to those who rely on them the most. These cuts jeopardize people’s lives while refusing to extend the millionaire’s tax and raise revenue from those who can afford it.

5 comments to Six LES Senior Centers in Danger of Closing (Updated 7:05pm)

  • Bowerygals.com

    Unbelievalbe that we can’t find the political will to restore the “millionaires tax” but we can shut down vital services to seniors in a heartbeat. I guess if you can’t tax the bonuses of the financial industry whose mismanagement, theft and greed caused the meltdown that got us here we can at least raid the storehouse of the poor.

  • Judycapel

    though I suppose there’s a need for senior centers, I don’t understand why someone like me – an active, healthy & not necessarily poor 63 – qualifies for subsidized lunch just because I’m ‘old’.. frankly I’d rather have more teachers than benefit from a subsidized lunch I don’t need. And do we need ALL these centers? can there be a consolidation? People – why don’t we start being smart about limited resources & figure out better ways rather than the tired old programs that will be meaningless for the upcoming ‘old’ baby boomers?

  • Unbelieving

    I suggest you visit these centers before commenting. We have many seniors who live below the poverty line–and these people fill our centers to the maximum. We need more, not less. Before you say these are tired old programs–would you first like to see what they are actually doing. It might also be interesting to all check the demographics and see how many are in their 60’s–or how many are in their 80s and 90s.

  • Bowerygals.com

    I would ask why you think the only choice is to pick between poor people and teachers?
    And yes, some elders don’t need the centers in order to eat. Great!
    But these centers aren’t just about eating (though it is nice to eat). They are also gathering places for members of our community who are often ignored in our hip new neighborhood. It looks important to them to be greeted in the day by someone who cares about them and for whom it matters that they still exist.
    Re: relocating seniors to “consolidate”. When you are eighty years old it can be harder to reconfigure your friendships and your welcome much less to physically get to a center further away. These places become like families and families don’t “consolidate” like a corporation – that doesn’t work for relationships or neighborhoods.

    There is money in New York City, it just sits in the hands of a very very few people. Hate to keep harping on it, but some people made out just fine in that last transfer of wealth referred to as the financial “industry” meltdown!

  • Aunttee1220@aol.com

    i agree with you whole heartedly. very well put. my mom is having the same problem in staten island. good luck.

    a concerned citizen