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Free Home Security Devices Are Offered

March 14, 1993|IRIS YOKOI

Low-income residents of Downtown, Echo Park and East Los Angeles can receive free locks and other home safety improvements through a program run by Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles.

The Home Secure program provides and installs deadbolts, door and window locks, peepholes and bathroom safety bars to renters and homeowners. The 15-year-old program serves residents who meet these annual income requirements: $26,250 or less for one person, $30,000 or less for two people and $33,750 or less for three people.

For residents such as Dorothy Banta, 81, of El Sereno the program provides peace of mind in more ways than one. Banta said she had long wanted to install grab bars in the bathroom to help her 93-year-old husband, who suffers from balance problems. But she said she could not find anyone who knew how to install the bars.

A couple of months ago, she read about Home Secure in a senior citizens newspaper. Banta said "a very nice man" came to her home, where she has lived for 52 years, and installed two bars in the bathroom near the toilet and over the bathtub.

The Los Angeles program, which receives about $193,000 annually from the city, employs 12 staff members, including Spanish- and Russian-speakers.

After the program receives a request for help, two employees--an installer and an information aide--are sent to the home. The information aide provides crime prevention and home safety information, including referrals to other community agencies and services, and conducts a general safety assessment of the home, director Leslie Friedman said.

Information: (213) 937-5855.

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