LOS ANGELES – A total of 11 nonprofits in California, including five in the Southland, received $15,000 donations to provide one-time financial assistance to seniors faced with unexpected expenses.

The money comes from SCAN Health Plan, a nonprofit health organization that focuses on seniors.

The funds can be used to pay for transportation, food, housing, adult daycare programs, utility payments, home repairs and adaptive devices such as ramps, bath benches and grab bars.

“All too often, financial challenges stand in the way of seniors receiving the support they need to remain independent and in their own homes as they age,” said Dave Schmidt, chief executive officer of SCAN.

“The establishment of these emergency assistance funds allows us to work directly through locally based organizations to find seniors facing immediate needs and help them and their caregivers get through some tough times,” he said.

SCAN’s funding programs are designed to meet the sudden and immediate needs of the elderly, and fill gaps in community programs.

The Southland recipients are:
* Independence at Home in Long Beach
* Orange County Council on Aging
* Social Services Agency of Orange County (Adult Protective Services)
* St. Barnabas Senior Services in Los Angeles
* WISE and Healthy Aging in Santa Monica

Rebecca Benard, vice president of development and strategic initiatives at St. Barnabas Senior Services, said the funds from SCAN will play a critical role in helping local seniors get through some difficult times.

“We hear from seniors who can’t make their rent or are in danger of having their water and power shut off,” Benard said. “These funds will allow us to assist these individuals and others who just need a little help.”