Raising their voices and their fists, healthcare workers and senior citizens rallied in opposition to proposed budget cuts to a program they say is vital in keeping them alive.
Maria Haylock and Keyung Yu have been going to the Daylight Adult Health Care Center every day for the past 5 years.
"With this center, I maintain my health. I am 87-years-old," said Yu, one of the patients.
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"This is our second home, we need it," said Haylock. "We have exercises according to what we need. They have nurses right there checking on us."
The center in the Harvard Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles is one of several hundred state funded adult day healthcare programs.
The Community-Based Adult Services provides medical care, social work, and recreation, all in one place, for tens of thousands of senior citizens and young disabled adults. But under Gov. Newsom’s proposed budget, funding for the centers would be eliminated completely.
"If they don’t get checked on a daily basis and left to their own devices, these seniors and young adults could pass away," said Anie Andonian who works at the center. "Most of these participants don’t have family to turn to."
Cutting the program would save the state about $364 million over the next two years but senior advocates say it would cost the state more in the long run.
The state pays $74 a day for every person who uses the center, but without it, advocates say the seniors will end up in nursing homes.
"Institutional care will cost the government anywhere from $238 to over $3000," sad Andonian. "That’s when this is going to backfire."
Haylock said the center not only helps physically, but also emotionally.
"It helps us to not be so depressed at home because we are locked up in the house every single day," said Haylock.
Yu said the center gives him purpose.
"You have a purpose for living," said Yu. "But at home by yourself, it don’t mean anything."
Yu and Haylock acknowledged the state needs to make cutbacks but they don't understand why their program has to be completely cut.