On Feb. 26, 2021, Pacifica Companies, international real estate developers and current owners of the facilities formerly known as Keiro Nursing and Retirement Homes, officially announced their intentions to begin ceasing of operations at the Sakura Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) in Boyle Heights.
Just ten days after the 79th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066, which mandated the removal of over 110,000 Japanese Americans from their homes, plans to transfer all residents of the ICF, aged from their 80s into their 100s, out of the facility to make way for its conversion to a market-rate, high-rental income property that will commence on March 1, 2021.
To this day, the existence of essential bilingual and bicultural senior care facilities is critically lacking in the United States, which is the reason why Nisei founded these facilities 50 years ago. That Kei-Ai Los Angeles is being considered as a destination point for these seniors is disconcerting to the families, as that facility is number one in the state for cumulative COVID-19 deaths. Conversely, the administration of the ICF has been stellar at preventing any outbreaks of COVID-19.
Given the increasing presence of new mutations of the virus, there is no basis for families to feel comfortable with such a proposal. That this action goes against Pacifica’s previously released press release on Jan. 26 has led some to speculate that Pacifica Companies is rushing to clear the building rather than risk the passage of CA Assembly Bill 279, which would make it illegal to do so during the pandemic.
In the interests of supporting the community elders and their families, and in the face of inaction by organizations better equipped to do so financially, the all-volunteer Save Our Seniors Network (SOS) is hosting a “Know Your Rights” online workshop at 6:30 p.m. this Tuesday, March 2. Please help spread the word so that ALL families with members in any of these facilities can become informed of their legal rights. Information from qualified attorneys will be provided free of charge.