FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 14, 2019
Contact: Glenn Paulino, (206) 624-1221
[SEATTLE, Washington] – Day 23 of the government shutdown with no end in sight and little is being done to address the needs of the people who rely on the government for critical support. Over 200 of our Senior Environment Employment (SEE) program enrollees at the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) are among those who have been furloughed as a direct consequence of the shutdown. They are a diverse group of Americans age 55 and older who share their expertise and remain in contribution to the country by carrying out important and meaningful tasks to support environmental programs in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“Many of our enrollees have already filed for unemployment compensation. There are some SEE enrollees who are retired and have retirement benefits, but many rely on the income from their SEE jobs to survive. Several are scrambling to make sure that monthly payments for necessities such as rent, insurance, and utilities can be deferred until the shutdown ends and they can start working again. Most are tightening their belts and hoping for a quick end to this action,” said Lois Kohashi-Sinclair, SEE National Program Director of NAPCA.
“We’re also receiving news of how the shutdown is impacting seniors who desperately rely on low-income housing assistance and food stamps. Each passing day of the shutdown is compounding their fears caused by the uncertainty of their paycheck, access to food stamps, and the thought of losing their homes. Our nation’s leaders have unjustly disrupted the support and systems in place that care for the needs of the vulnerable in our country. The shutdown must end now and we ask all people to consider how this event may be impacting the seniors and elders in our own communities who may be silently enduring hardship. We call on the President and members of Congress to end the shutdown immediately,” said Joon Bang, President and CEO of NAPCA.
NAPCA is a national nonprofit organization located in Seattle, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and Chicago with the mission to preserve and promote the dignity, well-being, and quality of life of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as they age.