This year the Jewish Social Service Agency's Holocaust Survivor Program is facing a $200,000 shortfall. Ellen Blalock, the agency's program coordinator, says JSSA's clients are both financially and physically in need of support.
"Our survivors are mostly in their 80s, many are in their 90s, some are in their 70s, which means they were child survivors during the war," says Blalock. "They are getting increasingly frail, they're increasingly ill, and because of the lack of the resources, their needs are growing."
Almost 70 percent of program clients require some level of assistance with daily activities such as bathing, cleaning and getting dressed. Blalock says the program also provides financial support for medical needs and food.
"We feel a great commitment to caring for them so that the last years of their lives can be lived in dignity and comfort," she says.
Blalock worries JSSA will have to turn away some clients in need if the program is not sustained. The agency predicts even greater annual shortfalls over the next decade.
Smithonian's Air and Space Museum was the scene of protests on Thursday as part of a national push by fast food workers for higher wages.