VANCOUVER -- A Vancouver non-profit that runs programs for seniors is asking for help from the public as Christmas approaches.

Its elderly participants rely on the New Roots/West End Adult Day Centre for social, physical and cognitive programming, as well as health monitoring and meals.

The facility also provides respite for family and caregivers of those seniors, including those with dementia and Alzheimer's.

"It's basically a lifeline for the seniors and their families," director of therapeutic recreation Paulette Thome told CTV News Sunday.

"If you talk to any of the families or the clients themselves, the participants, they will tell you how much they need this program. The families really are in need of respite, so when their loved ones come to our program, they don't have to worry. They know they're well taken care of and they're supported."

But the centre's rent is going up, and its funding is not.

Thome said the society receives funding from Vancouver Coastal Health, but it just isn't enough given the cost of rent in the city.

"Our situation is starting to be quite difficult … We have a triple net rent, so we're responsible for everything in the building, any repairs, etc.," Thome said.

"The program is in dire need of support."

To help offset increasing costs, the centre is attempting to raise $5,000 online. So far they've raised about $4,600, and Thome is hoping they'll exceed their goal.

Any money raised will help pay the bills, but they're also looking for money to cover a Christmas luncheon.

They're hoping to serve a roast turkey and all the trimmings the weekend before Christmas at a party that includes live entertainment and dancing. They'll be having two parties because they can't fit everyone in the space at one time.

"Some of them have said that this is the only Christmas meal that they will receive, so we want to make it very special for them," Thome said.

Donations will also go to oversized custom calendars being made for the seniors, with a feature on each senior on their birthday month.

They will also hope to replace their decades-old microwave and vacuum, and to hire an electrician to replace some lights.

Anything left over will go to program supplies, ongoing repairs and maintenance.

"I think people should help because maybe one day they'll need this program as well, but I think too, seniors, they've given over their lives, and it's really time that we recognize them and their needs and provide for seniors as well," Thome said.

"I find it interesting that people will donate to certain causes, but when it comes to seniors, they seem to be overlooked … I'm trying to change that."