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Asian American seniors like Derek Tang, a 68-year-old refugee from Cambodia, typically go to Homecrest Community Services in Brooklyn to socialize, have lunch and maybe play mahjong. But now Homecrest is also offering safety webinars and distributing panic alarms so Tang and other patrons can feel more secure stepping out of their homes.

Tang hasn’t been employed since suffering a heart attack in 2006. His wife was working in an Asian grocery store, but the shop closed during the pandemic. That makes the meals served by Homecrest a vital lifeline. So he still needs to get himself there, despite concerns about safety. One member of the center, an 89-year-old Chinese-American woman, was lit on fire near her home in Brooklyn in the summer of 2020. Tang, a genocide survivor, took Homecrest’s online class and studied pamphlets. He’s vigilant when he leaves home.

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