"What are the problems of the senior citizens in the Chinese Community?" Staff writer Joann Stevens and photographer Michael Ford Parks went to the Chinese senior citizen group at Calvary Baptist Church, 8th and H Streets NW, to ask residents their views. Ki Lau of the University of the District of Columbia, acted as interpreter.
Nee Lim Lee, president of the D.C. Chinese Senior Citizens Association: "We have the language problem and we would like the government to put aside some funds to hire some young people to work with us. Because of our language problem it limits what we can do. We rely on bilingual members to attend meetings and translate our needs. We also don't have a permanent building for our association (which has over 200 members)."
Edward Lee: "We need some bilingual doctors for the clinic at 830 Delaware Ave. NW. There's also limited public housing for the old people on fixed incomes. Out of 37 people that frequent this center only four from the Chinese community are now in public housing. In the last three years, 30 to 40 Chinese senior citizens (from the center) applied and only four were accommodated."
Eng Choy Fung: "I'm paying $105 now (for an apartment). My monthly allotment is $95.60. My husband gets $200. I've been living here 13 years. I'm living in two bedrooms. (The apartment) is very old and run down. Water leaks in. Everybody is hoping to get into public housing. Are they accepting applications for public housing?"
Ngan Foon Lee: "There are no bilingual police officers operating here (in the Chinese community). We just take extra precaution against crime. We seldom go out at night. We just stay home."
Lin Yu Ng: "It's institutional discrimination that the (American) citizenship test is not in Chinese. I've been here 16 years. I have a problem, I can't remember well. I'm 83 years old. It's hard to retain any knowledge. English is impossible. Before I came from China I was an herb doctor and a general doctor. I feel I wasn't able to get a license to practice here because of the language. I would like to have practiced medicine here."
Toy Chin: "I just recently got my green card. I've been here for more than 30 years and I haven't been working all that time because I haven't had a green card. I'm getting welfare, $178 a month. It's not enough for me to live. I'm living by myself. I pay $50 rent. I don't have a telephone. I spend $40 a month on food."