Hearing called for on sudden closure of elder care facility

Pub date July 7, 2014
SectionPolitics Blog

It’s been several weeks since we reported on the pending closure of San Francisco’s University Mound Ladies Home, a nonprofit elder care facility that has been in operation for 130 years, serving seniors of modest means.

In May, residents – mostly in their 80s or 90s – received eviction notices informing them that they would need to leave by July 10, an announcement that blindsided the elders and their families and caused great concern throughout the broader community. The timeline has since been extended to July 31.

The facility’s administrators, who hired a crisis consultant shortly before announcing the closure, have indicated in meetings with family members and residents that the move was triggered by financial woes.

Sup. David Campos has been working behind the scenes to intervene on residents’ behalf since the announcement, but he’s now called for a public hearing that should finally bring some answers to light. Scheduled for Thu/10, the hearing will take place at the Board of Supervisors’ Neighborhood Services and Safety Committee meeting at 10am.

On July 1, University Mound announced it had reached an agreement with Alta Vista School to sell its facility.

Campos hopes to address the University Mound board regarding plans for residents’ continued care, and on how it envisions helping residents transition out of the facility.

“Closure of this facility places the lives of these residents in jeopardy,” Campos said. “I am gravely concerned with the access to care for these individuals. The closure of the University Mound Ladies Home is endemic of the economic crisis and widening affordability gap that is eroding the values of San Francisco.”  

Anna Stratton, whose mother resides at University Mound and will turn 87 on July 10, is one of many concerned family members affected by the sudden closure.

“I’m concerned that my mother may be one of the residents that does not survive the change from one residence to another,” Stratton said.

She added that when her mother began living in the assisted-care home, they were never given a reason to doubt that University Mound would stay in operation. Stratton’s mother, who has lived in San Francisco since 1957 and volunteered there for 35 years, wanted to live the rest of her life in the city – but won’t be able to do so due to the home’s sudden closure.

“We were not informed of anything,” Stratton said. “It’s very upsetting, not only for my mother, but for all the elders. We have been kept in the dark.”