In the middle of a pandemic, despite opposition to their mass eviction plans of Japanese American and Japanese seniors, aged mostly in their 90’s to 100’s, Pacifica Companies is continuing with efforts to empty the Sakura Intermediate Care Facility in Boyle Heights, jeopardizing the lives of the already-frail residents. Pacifica seeks to realize their goal of converting the facility to high-rent housing.
On March 29, 2021, Pacifica Companies, international real estate developer owners of the senior care properties formerly known as Keiro Nursing and Retirement Homes, submitted a “Transition Plan” to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to evict all residents from the Sakura Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) in Boyle Heights. On April 20, 2021, the CDPH announced rejection of this plan, as did the LA County DPH.
This follows the previously unanimously rejected proposal by Pacifica to the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Community Council Planning and Land Use Committee to convert this one-of-a-kind nursing care facility for Japanese Americans and Japanese into a market-rate property.
Numerous elected officials have issued statements opposing the evictions, including California State Assemblymembers Al Muratsuchi, Miguel Santiago, Los Angeles City Councilmember Kevin De León, Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, as well as U.S. Congress representatives Judy Chu, Maxine Waters and Jimmy Gomez.
Multiple physicians attending to the residents have issued a statement warning of the dangers of evicting seniors at this time, also due to the multiple variants of COVID-19 and lack of confirmation that current vaccinations will protect anyone from them.
A spreadsheet has been compiled that shows how there exist NO OTHER facilities in Southern CA that offer the same level of needed bilingual and culturally-sensitive care for Japanese seniors as Sakura ICF. With no professional medical staff at a given facility that speak Japanese, this is a critical healthcare problem. If culturally-sensitive dietary and religious considerations are not addressed, this can lead to nutritional deficiencies and declines in emotional/spiritual state. Many other facilities do not accept Medi-Cal patients.
Pacifica Companies’ aggressive efforts to mass-evict seniors is in direct opposition to the effort by Assemblymembers Al Muratsuchi and Miguel Santiago to advance Assembly Bill AB 279, which would make evictions and downgrading of services at facilities like Sakura ICF illegal during the pandemic. AB 279 now scheduled to be heard by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Wednesday April 28 at 9AM, to decide whether to advance the bill to a floor vote.
Join the families and their supporters on May 1 to protest Pacifica’s efforts to mass evacuate seniors from Sakura ICF! Outdoor masks and social-distancing-required event will include family members of Sakura ICF, representatives of various faiths, community organizations, elected officials and cultural performances including East LA Taiko. Attendees are asked to wear black, in honor of the 121 patients at two of the Pacifica Companies run skill-nursing facilities, that have died of COVID-19.