NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some 45,000 holocaust survivors call New York City home and nearly 20,000 of them live in poverty.

It’s an unacceptable fact for many and the motivation behind asking for more money from the City Council to help this aging population.

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Holocaust survivor Vera Liapina joined several other survivors in front of City Hall on Wednesday afternoon to show support for the Elie Wiesel Holocaust Survivors Initiative.

“When we first started this initiative we pushed for $1.5 million. Within months, we were able to secure that funding,” City Councilman Rafael Espinal said.

Espinal said the money is to make sure holocaust survivors can happily and healthily live out their golden years in New York City.

“The needs are enormous,” said Eric Goldstein of the UJA Federation. “The monies we’ve raised so far and that they are allocating are simply not enough to address the need.”

At the City Hall event, the people there were imploring the City Council to earmark $4 million in the budget for 2019. It would mean more funding for organizations like Self Help.

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“We make sure they get to their doctors appointments, that there’s food, that they’re able to live independently, with dignity in their homes,” Stuart Kaplan, CEO of Self Help said.

Liapina connected with Self Help in 2016, and describes the staff as warm and helpful.

“I’m so happy,” she said.

Holocaust survivor Boris Fukshansky told CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock he thought he’d lose his wife last year when she became ill.

“She’s here, she’s beautiful,” Fukshansky said. “It is because many took part in this donation.”

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That includes City Hall and funds from the Elie Wiesel Holocaust Survivors Initiative.