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Operators of Senior Safe House Hope Program Continues

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

The people who run the Sacramento Senior Safe House say 250 seniors have been helped since the facility opened in 2009.

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Christie Holderegger with Volunteers of America says the houseprovides services and a home for seniors in need.

"It could be physical abuse, verbal abuse, financial abuse," Holdergger says. "It could be neglect -sometimes also self neglect. Sometimes if a senior has outlived a spouse or outlived their children or separated from their children, they just age in place and nobody knows what's going on."

Holderegger says the home has helped 250 seniors opening in 2009.

She says more than half of the abuse cases she's seen were perpetrated by someone close to the victim.

"A caregiver or a loved one moves in supposedly to take care of them. And, they start restricting their diet. They start selling off their belongings and pretty soon everything has been signed over to a grandson or a child. "

The group also helps homeless seniors like John Barnes while they look for housing. 

"I'm comfortable here," says Barnes. "Everything's nice. Everybody's nice... It's lovely.  Ain't nothing like it."

The Volunteers of America Board of Directors voted to shut down the house when the loss of a major donor left the facility with a $200,000 budget deficit.

Nearly 200 people have already donated to keep the house open. The volunteers have until February 14 to raise $10,000 to close the remaining budget gap.

Holderegger says the safe house is the only she's aware of west of the Mississippi River. 



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