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Adult care center will close again

Ryan Carter

Citing lack of funds and looming state budget cuts, an adult care

center that catered to people with Alzheimer’s disease and similar

ailments is scheduled to close again, just two months after its

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reopening.

Burbank Adult Service and Resource Center is scheduled to close

Feb. 10 and remain so until at least June 30, officials said.

“A difficult decision has been made by the board of directors to

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suspend services while further fund-raising activities take place, in

order to provide a sustainable, long-term, stable environment for

clients,” Administrator Linda G. Crane wrote in a Jan. 7 letter to

clients.

Center support groups will continue to meet.

Since it was established in 1998 inside the First Christian Church

at 221 S. Sixth St., the center served a unique niche. Unlike local

for-profit adult health-care centers that require medical

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supervision, this nonprofit center provided area residents with

dementia-related problems with a nonmedical environment. Food, field

trips, games and exercise were part of the day. Meanwhile, family

members could tend to other business. Fees at the center were on a

sliding scale of $15 to $40 per day, based on ability to pay.

“It’s devastating,” said Bur- bank resident Christine Bevis, who

brought her mother, Ruth, to the facility. “Every time we get a

little progress, the rug is yanked from right underneath us.”

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In December 2001, the center closed when its operator, the

Assistance League of Southern California, pulled out because it could

not support the center’s annual $250,000 budget.

It reopened last month with funding from the Burbank-based

nonprofit Schutrum-Piteo Foundation, with support from state Sen.

Jack Scott’s office, after a year of organizing. The foundation had

been the center’s sole funding source since it opened last month.

Since then, between three and five locals used the facility each

day. Before the December 2001 closing, about 20 clients were

regularly using the center.

Schutrum-Piteo Foundation officials declined to disclose daily

operating costs at the center, but Chief Financial Officer Donald J.

Savarese said with poor economic conditions, grant money did not come

on time.

“My heart is broken about this,” center Director David Mitchell

said. “Everyone’s hearts are broken.”

Keeping such a service alive can be difficult, city officials

said.

“It’s the only center that deals with the social environment [of

clients] here in Burbank,” said Eric Hansen, deputy director of

senior and human services.

The city pitched in at the center with a nutrition program.

Because nonprofit centers such as this one accept people with

dementia and related problems but who are otherwise healthy and not

on Medi-Cal, it’s harder to tap government funding sources, Hansen

said.


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