The American Indian Healing Center in Whittier, Calif., which primarily serves low-income Native people, may have to shut down because of California’s ongoing budget crisis.
The clinic has just learned it won’t get its annual grant from the state this year, according to this Whittier Daily News story. The clinic has already had to close one day a week, and may cut its hours further. Most of its other private funding sources also are drying up, says the center’s executive director, John Andrews.
According to the center’s Web site, Los Angeles County has the greatest concentration of urban Indian people in the United States, with nearly 77,000 Indians representing more than 100 tribes. Yet, says Ron Andrade, executive director of the Los Angeles City Council Native American Indian Commission, only one other clinic – in the city of Los Angeles – serves them.
Dolores Carrasco of Whittier is both a patient and a board member of the clinic. “Can you imagine the influx that’s going to happen in the emergency rooms of the hospital, especially now with swine flu?” she wonders. “There will be crowds and lines. It’s going to be devastating.”
To find out how to donate, go to this page on the center’s site.