On December 16, 2019, Felton hosted a Safety and Crime Prevention Presentation at its 66 Raymond site in San Francisco, CA, to address the growing number of scams and burglaries against Chinese residents in Visitacion Valley and other San Francisco neighborhoods.

More than 60 Cantonese speaking older adults attended, and Josephine Zhao, President of the Chinese American Democratic Club moderated the panel. The speakers included Officer Vong from the Ingleside Police Department, Wesley Chu, Lead Public Safety and Community Engagement Specialist for San Francisco Safe; and Kathryn Guo, from Adult Protective Services.

Safety and Prevention Forum, Felton Institute

The event was organized to address an increase in Chinese homes being targeted because of a belief that large amounts of cash are kept in those homes. Many Chinese seniors who have limited English skills may not feel comfortable answering the doorbell, so the panel offered concrete tips, such turning on the television or radio loudly, showing someone is at home. Phone scams were also addressed, and when it was asked how many in the audience had received a recent call from a well-known phone scam, about a third of the audience raised their hands, showing how widespread this problem is. Four Chinese media outlets attended the presentation to help get out the word in print and television.

The safety event was held just weeks before the passing of an 89-year-old Chinese grandmother, Yik Oi Huang, also known as “Huang Popo,” who was brutally assaulted in a San Francisco park while exercising just over a year ago. Her death at Laguna Honda Hospital was attributed to the injuries that she suffered, according to her family. Mrs. Huang’s granddaughter, Sasanna Yee, often teaches chair yoga at Felton’s 66 Raymond site. Felton’s Program Manager of Aging Services Edith Yamanoha attended the Huang memorial service and extended condolences to the family.

Some safety and crime prevention tips shared include:

At Home:

  • Use a door viewer before opening your door.
  •  Always demand identification from strangers (even repair or salespersons).
  • Do not answer personal questions about your home, such as type of alarm, daytime occupancy, etc.
  • Do not let people inside your home (to use the bathroom, phone, etc.)

When Walking:

  • Plan your route ahead of time
  • Never walk alone at night; walk with a friend or your dog
  • Use well-lit streets, not dark alleys or bushy areas
  • Carry signaling devices like shriek alarms or a whistle.

This panel presentation was created in response to a discussion at the Visitacion Valley Roundtable, a group of older adult leaders that Felton hosts to tackle community wide issues.

Safety and Prevention Forum, Felton Institute



About Felton Institute: Founded in 1889, Felton Institute responds to human needs by providing cutting edge, evidence-based mental health and social services that transform lives. Felton Institute is a tax-exempt organization registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit under EIN 94-1156530.

Offering more than 50 acclaimed and honored programs that address homelessness, mental health, prenatal, adolescent, adult and senior needs, Felton Institute provides services in San Francisco, Alameda, San Mateo, Marin, and Monterey counties.

Felton is named for its social services pioneer and executive director Dr. Katharine “Kitty” Felton who was called the ”conscience of San Francisco” and was committed to ensuring that children and families in crisis have access to social services and resources in order to help them build upon their inherent strengths and develop self-sufficiency. www.felton.org