You are reading

75 Percent of Asian Seniors in NYC Afraid to Leave Homes Due to Hate Crimes: Survey

75 percent of Asian seniors in New York City are reluctant to leave their homes due to a surge in hate crimes (Photo by Archie on Unsplash)

March 25, 2022 By Allie Griffin

About three-quarters of Asian seniors in New York City are afraid to leave their homes due to the recent spike in anti-Asian violence, according to a report released Thursday.

The Asian American Federation (AAF) surveyed 153 Asian seniors as well as 15 community-based organizations across the city and found that 75 percent of respondents said they are weary to leave their homes due to anti-Asian violence.

The AAF’s Seniors Working Group, which is an advocacy group for elderly Asians, attributes these fears to the increase in bias attacks since the outbreak of COVID-19.  NYPD data shows that hate crimes targeting AAPI New Yorkers increased 343 percent in 2021 compared to 2020.

The spike in Asian hate is leaving many seniors in the AAPI community isolated at home. Many are also not getting the government services they need since they are reluctant to go out.

The federation’s survey found that one-third of Asian seniors don’t have daily contact with family, friends or neighbors — attributing the high numbers to violence involving Asian-Americans.

In recent months, four Asian American women have died from violent assaults in high profile incidents. GuiYing Ma, Yao Pan Ma, Michelle Go and Christina Yuna Lee were all killed by strangers in brutal attacks.  Yao Pan Ma is the only one to be ruled a hate crime.

Advocates for the AAPI community said more outreach needs to be done to help Asian seniors—the fastest-growing senior population in NYC—during this troubling time.

They say AAPI seniors, in order to get the government services they need, require help overcoming language barriers as well as using the internet.

Two-thirds of the AAPI elders surveyed said they need help translating documents from their native language into English, and half of the respondents said they are not comfortable accessing the internet on their own.

“Asian seniors are left out of government programs and vital mental health services because they lack English language skills,” said Jo-Ann Yoo, Executive Director of the AAF.

Access to senior services is critical for many older Asian New Yorkers as 42 percent are poor or low-income, according to the AAF.

“Asian American seniors are one of the fastest-growing senior populations in New York City, yet there is shockingly little infrastructure in place to support and protect them especially as our community contends with the devastating ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Yoo said.

“Our community needs help now, and we look towards our city’s leaders to help us continue our work and expand the support Asian seniors deserve.”

Queens Council Member Linda Lee, who chairs the city council’s committee on mental health, disabilities and addictions, said the AAF report is both eye-opening and alarming.

“While Asian seniors are the fastest-growing senior demographic and rank among some of the poorest in NYC, it’s clear that we are failing them in ways big and small,” she said in a statement. “As a city, we must commit to increasing resources to counteract the mental health effects of isolation, anti-Asian hate, and cuts to social services during the pandemic.”

Lee, one of the two Korean American council members, said she will continue to fight for Asian seniors within the city council.

Her fellow Queens council member Lynn Schulman also said she would work to provide services and protections to AAPI seniors.

“Asian American Seniors are some of the most under-protected residents of this city,” stated Schulman, who represents Forest Hills, Rego Park, Kew Gardens and Richmond Hills. “In my District alone I serve a vast majority of AAPI elders and know how vital protecting them is.”

email the author: [email protected]

One Comment

Click for Comments 
JH4Life

Kudos to Council Member Lee and Shulman from doing something to protect the AAPI community with the scourge of hate and violence plaguing our city. I implore other city officials and activists to do the same to protect the Manhattan Chinatown community being dumped with a mega jail and 4 more shelters, when already hosting 6. Enough is enough!

2
3
Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Op-Ed: This Year’s State Budget Must Prioritize Climate, Jobs, and Justice for New York

Op-Ed, Jan. 30, By Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas

In a time of rampant economic inequality and environmental injustice, it is easy to feel defeated.  Here in Queens and across New York State, however, communities are organizing for a better future. New Yorkers from different backgrounds and with different lived experiences are proving that we can build community, organize, and create a future that reflects our shared values.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Raga sworn in as first-ever Filipino American elected to the state Legislature

More than 300 community members attended the historic inauguration of Assemblyman Steven Raga as the first Filipino American elected to office in New York state.

Many who attended the swearing-in event at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park wore traditional and cultural attire to the event at the building that once housed the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations from 1946 to 1950 until its current home in Manhattan became available for the world body.