NY1 For You: Upper West Side Seniors Put The Heat On Restoring Gas To Their Center's Kitchen
A hot meal is a lifeline for some Upper West Side seniors, who say an extended gas outage at their senior center has left them hungry and in need of help. NY1's Susan Jhun filed the following report.
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It's a sad scene at The Association of Black Social Workers Senior Citizens Center on the Upper West Side, where no gas, means no hot meals. It was something the local seniors have come to rely on.
"It's our second home and all of us we don't know what to do," says senior citizen Olivia Baldwin.
"We're missing lunch for these people, they come in here every day," says senior citizen Daniella Garcia.
"This has disrupted the whole gamut of our program," says ABSW Executive Director Steven Adeyinka.
The center, in the basement of The Ascension Church on 107th Street, has been serving seniors in the Upper West Side since 1975. Then late last month, the church informed them there was a gas leak and shut off the gas in the kitchen, taking away hot, healthy and affordable meals, forcing the seniors to go elsewhere.
"One dollar for lunch, the other places, $1.50 to $2.50. It's unfair," says senior citizen Daniella Garcia.
"I come here almost every day and we had a hot food service here which is very nice. Every place has raised the price up," says senior citizen Lie-Ching Tsang.
After repeated calls to the church to find out when the gas would be turned back on went unanswered, seniors called NY1 For You.
The station called the Department of Buildings and a spokeswoman told NY1 that earlier this month the DOB issued a permit to replace the gas line to the basement.
She went on to say the work passed the required gas test and the DOB approved the work, but in order to restore gas, the building's plumber needs to submit paperwork requesting the restoration.
NY1 then called the church, and sure enough, the paperwork was submitted later that day.
The DOB spokeswoman says Consolidated Edison will be able to turn the building's gas back on as soon as the request is approved — hopefully in time for lunch.
NY1 will continue to follow this story.