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Century old convalescent home in SF may close

A convalescent home that's been in San Francisco's Portola neighborhood since 1884 is in danger of closing.
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Elderly residents of a century old convalescent home in San Francisco are wondering where they will live come July. Another senior care provider wants to take over the University Mound Ladies Home in the city. But at this point, the home is planning to close.

You may not have heard of University Mound Ladies Home, but it's been in San Francisco's Portola neighborhood since 1884.

A gift from James Lick, once one of California's wealthiest men, it's a nonprofit whose mission is affordable and compassionate care for seniors.

But now the 134-year history of this residential facility may be coming to an end.

"It's hard for me to say, I'm very sad to hear that it's closing, it's a very, very nice facility," said resident Bonnie Claire Gallegos.

Gallegos has lived there for three years. Just last week, she and the 52 other residents were notified the home will close its doors July 10.

"Since the beginning of the mission of this home, the ability to generate enough revenue from the residential fees was not adequate to cover operating costs," said University Mound Ladies Home Interim Executive Director Bill Brinkman.

He adds, "Our number one primary concern is finding new homes."

Gene Maffei says it would be very difficult for his 91-year-old mother Gloria to move from what he calls a wonderful place.

"We came for the convenience and the price, but we stayed because of the level of care the people provide here," he said. "It's phenomenal."

Six years ago they faced a financial challenge at the University Mound Ladies Home, but a concerted community effort helped keep the doors open.

Now another player in the senior care business, Age Song wants to step in, and is proposing to work with the nonprofit Pacific Institute to acquire the ladies home. That proposal along with others is being evaluated.

"Time is short, and so we are working feverishly to find a solution," Brinkman said.

Fifty-three elderly women and men are counting on it.
Related Topics:
news seniors budget budget cuts non-profit San Francisco Portola
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