According to nonprofit, Self Help For the Elderly, the fastest growing demographic is seniors, and by 2030, nearly one-third of the city’s residents will be at least 60 years old with nearly half identifying as Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI). In order to meet the growing needs of AAPI seniors living in San Francisco’s Sunset District, Assembly Budget Chair Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) announced $3.5 million from the California budget to enhance and improve services at two facilities serving this population.
“I want our elders to age with dignity and enjoy their independence. That means we must invest in community spaces where they can live out their golden years in safe, nurturing environments among people they know and in neighborhoods they’re familiar with. Not only does the state funding I secured provide options for a healthy lifestyle, but it also enables them to thrive,” said Ting, whose district includes the Sunset.
Ting’s news comes as at least two AAPI seniors were attacked in San Francisco in the last three weeks, highlighting the necessity for safe spaces. Along with money from the local 2020 Health and Recovery Bond, $2.3 million from the state will renovate the South Sunset Playground Clubhouse, which is overdue for upgrades. The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and Self Help for the Elderly have collaborated for years to provide culturally-aligned programs and services at this vital center.
“Improving the South Sunset clubhouse means improving the lives of neighborhood seniors. Through our incredible community partner, Self Help for the Elderly, the clubhouse has long been a place for older residents and multigenerational families to socialize and nurture their health through exercise and nutritious meals. We are grateful for Assemblymember Ting’s support of this neighborhood gem,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg.
Another $1.2 million in state funding will support Self Help for the Elderly’s new senior center on Taraval Street - a project that is shovel-ready, thanks to the city and private donors. The nonprofit has deep roots and a wide reach in the Sunset, and state investment in both locations makes certain the organization can meet the growing demands of their clientele.
“Self-Help for the Elderly is truly grateful to Assemblymember Ting for the renovation funding for South Sunset Senior Center. We have been providing essential meals, activities and social services to over 2000 seniors who live in the Sunset District. South Sunset Center is their home away from home, and since we started there in 1992, it has desperately needed a makeover,” said Anni Chung, CEO of Self Help for the Elderly. “We also appreciate the funding for a new center to expand our important work. Thank you for making our seniors’ dreams come true!”
“The local and state resources we’ve secured to renovate the South Sunset Playground Clubhouse and to create a new senior center on Taraval are an important investment in our community. The senior population in the Sunset and westside is expanding rapidly, and our services and support for seniors should expand just as quickly. The Clubhouse is not only a critical space for neighborhood activities, it’s also where over 2,000 daily meals are served to our most valuable and vulnerable senior community by Self Help for the Elderly. I’m grateful to Assemblymember Ting and Anni Chung for their leadership, and with this new state investment and the $3 million we secured for this renovation in 2020 with voter support, I’m looking forward to a modern and improved Clubhouse serving our seniors and the entire Sunset community for many years to come,” said San Francisco Supervisor Gordon Mar.
The $3.5 million state budget allocation highlights Ting’s commitment to ensuring the state continues its investment in California’s AAPI community. Last month, he also announced $4 million for the redesign of Chinatown’s Portsmouth Square. Both projects complement Ting’s efforts in crafting and securing last year’s historic $166.5 million API Equity Budget, which is aimed toward stopping AAPI hate.