Elder care facility under pressure not to move forward with evictions

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University Mound board member John Sedlander is questioned by Sup. David Campos.
GUARDIAN PHOTO BY REBECCA BOWE

A group of senior citizens, mostly in their 80s and 90s, faces eviction from the University Mound Ladies Home, a San Francisco elder care facility serving residents of modest means that has been in operation for 130 years.

The University Mound Board of Trustees has said the nonprofit organization that runs the home is too far in debt to keep the doors open.

Nevertheless, interim director Bill Brinkman and members of the Board of Trustees have rejected the city’s offer of temporary financial assistance. University Mound has entered into an agreement to sell the facility to Alta Vista School for $5.4 million as a way to pay off its debts, making it clear at a public hearing that it would not reconsider this plan despite the city's attempts to intervene on behalf of the impacted residents.

At the Board of Supervisors’ Neighborhood Services and Safety Committee today [Thu/10], Sup. David Campos put board treasurer John Sedlander on the spot.

“The city has given you every opportunity to stay open,” Campos said, referencing offers made when his office met with University Mound leadership shortly after the closure was announced. “We are willing to put money on the table, to keep this open temporarily, until we find a long-term viable solution. Are you willing to accept that?”

But Sedlander insisted that this was not a viable option. “We’ve been financing our operations for the past six years … with debt,” he said. “We are unable to make the payroll unless we were to close this facility. … It’s one of those things that’s just a model that doesn’t work.” 

The closure has sparked widespread community concern, in part because it can be very dangerous to force people in frail health to move.

“They’re playing with people’s lives,” Eddie Shine, whose mother is 97 and lives at University Mound, told the Bay Guardian. “A move would be devastating, which is why I’m so passionate about this,” she added.

Speaking during public comment, Anna Stratton said she was concerned that her 87-year-old mother would “feel isolated and alone” after being transferred to a Hayward retirement home. “When we transferred her [to University Mound] she did not eat for seven days,” Stratton explained, noting that this would arise as a concern yet again with the pending move.

In May, residents were issued eviction notices indicating that they would have to move by July 10. That date has since been extended to July 31.

Campos said the city would explore every possible route to prevent University Mound from closing down and evicting the seniors, including the possibility of rezoning the property to be maintained as a retirement home since the benefactors behind the original endowment established that it should function as such. After public comment was over, Campos called Sedlander back to the podium.

“You heard the testimony,” he told the University Mound board treasurer. “You know the city is going to do everything we can to block you” from moving forward with the July 31 eviction. “I am going to give you the option to do the right thing here,” he went on. “Are you prepared to call that deadline null and void?”

Sedlander responded that he was not prepared to rescind the evictions.

The item was continued and will likely come up for discussion again before July 31. “I will fight to do everything I possibly can till hell freezes over to make sure we stop the closure of this facility,” Campos said. “If the city has to fight to make it happen, then the city will fight to make it happen.”

Comments

From SF Gate:

"The sale will allow the nonprofit home to pay off its obligations, which include $2.1 million in loans, as well as pension obligations due to the SEIU United Healthcare Workers West union."

Pensions.

Posted by The Commish on Jul. 10, 2014 @ 1:18 pm

The loans are an easy way to take cash out of a property and then complain about higher operating expenses because of debt payments, necessitating bankruptcy. Corporate raiders do this all the time. Buy a company; strip out its asset values and pay the cash to the raiders; crank up the debt on the company assets; and then walk away from the over-leveraged assets and other long-term liabilities such as pensions or toxic clean-ups, etc.

Follow the money. Why was the money taken out of the property and who did it go to? Do those same individuals benefit by getting out of this business? Do they benefit by selling the property (via bankruptcy)? Were the pension obligations material compared to the cash withdrawn from the property?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 10, 2014 @ 6:07 pm

they oppose evictions except where it benefits them

Posted by Guest on Jul. 11, 2014 @ 2:25 am

This may not be accurate: End of May, UMLH took out a loan on the property 1.7-1.9 million and paid off the debt, as we the family members understand the actions of the Board. UMLH is sitting on 1.2 million cash. The buyer at was made public end of June, absorbs this debt.

We may be saying the same thing, in different ways.

What we can NOT afford is to lose another assisted living facility in San Francisco.

What I don't understand is why other RCFE's, just 10 miles outside of SF can operate facilities charging similar average rates THAT we are currently paying at UMLH. (ranging from 1600-4800 a month)?

Sandra Parker

Posted by Guest on Jul. 11, 2014 @ 6:21 pm

Because these other operators can. They are making a profit at the expense of loved ones. There are no restrictions on what they can charge. And anyone who takes over this place will do the same.

what I don't understand is, why their family members don't apply for Medi-cal that will pay for their stay for them and place them in a nursing home in the city. That's what we ended up having to do for our mother after she spent down her savings. Are you trying to save your inheritance? Get in line with the rest of us, you've been spoiled for far too long and it sounds like this home suffered as a result.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 12, 2014 @ 3:54 am

JUST wondering, what SNF did you place your mother? My mother isn't qualified for a SNF

If, in the future, I found a SNF that I would feel comfortable placing my loved one in I would. What I have seen with SNF and MediCal is that they stack people on top of one another. This is how it was for my late father. I refuse to place my mother in such a facility. EVERYONE needs to make the decision that they can live with. My understanding is that Laguna Honda is a really nice facility for SF elders. However, they reduced the number of beds of available beds with the remodel after a bond measure was passed. I might stand corrected on Laguna Honda issue.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 12, 2014 @ 6:57 pm

Not a SNF. Try St Anne's home in the Inner Richmond.

Posted by 1 month on Jul. 12, 2014 @ 7:13 pm

Not sure my message worked: try St Anne's Home in the Inner Richmond.

Posted by 1 month on Jul. 12, 2014 @ 7:21 pm

I was there. I have to say, Campos is just trying to get votes for his election and the audience fell for it. Who is going to pay for the difference in care these people need? sure isn't going to be Campos. A $250K bandaid is not going to help. The city gave that to them last time and look where it got them. Further debt. The long term viable solution is to let these people move into places with the funding that has been offered to them so they can live out the rest of their lives in peace.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 10, 2014 @ 1:38 pm

Supervisor's Campos offer is generous enough to help keep the current residents safe while a business model is put is place. Transferring these elders could mean DEATH. There is a solution - its called quality elder care with good management. Thank you Supervisor Campos!!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 10, 2014 @ 6:59 pm

Why isn't Campos fund-raising to offer more? He cares about old people as long as the money comes from others.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 11, 2014 @ 2:26 am

What does that 250k cover? About a months worth of care?

Posted by 1 month on Jul. 11, 2014 @ 6:07 am

Throw in debt payments and unpaid bills, and 250K can get swallowed up very quickly.

Why hasn't Campos come up with millions if he really cares?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 11, 2014 @ 7:27 am

It will not take millions to keep the home open. It will take a viable business plan, that's all.
Supervisor Campos is RIGHT ON with the money.
BELIEVE in the soul of San Francisco - Cristina Flores

Posted by Guest on Jul. 11, 2014 @ 8:57 am

This center has unfunded liabilities that will cost millions when projected into the future.

What Campos is really trying to do here is to push the cost of welfare (a city mandate) onto private individuals rather than bite the bullet and fund it themselves. Which of course is exactly what rent control tries to do and, no coincidence, that is leading to evictions too.

If the center cannot provide its owners with a competitive ROI, then the business must be closed. If Campos doesn't want that then why desn't he put up his own money to buy and run it himself?

Rhetorical question, because Campos knows it is not viable.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 11, 2014 @ 10:04 am

Would be happy to talk to you if you would name yourself.
Supervisor Campos is correct in that it is viable. The Board knows it. The community knows it. AgeSong knows how to do it. Give me a call 650-483-1202. Better yet, come on over and meet me and some of our wise Elders.
Cristina

Posted by Guest on Jul. 11, 2014 @ 12:12 pm

...would be so dogmatic, and devoid of heart, to use the plight of these elders to write a little more smack on rent control laws. Not really related, but whatever.

Your comments, suggest that "guest" is actually your real name.

You are a true troll. Get a life. You must spend all day at this. Heartless phony.

Posted by thesfmofo on Jul. 12, 2014 @ 1:30 pm

So it's purely a business decision, and no business can be forced to operate at a loss, whatever it is,

Why doesn't the city buy the business and run it if they think it is a great deal?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 13, 2014 @ 9:27 am

I don't agree. This is NOT about Campos; it's about our parents, our aunts, our uncles, hardworking people who have made SF their home, there residence. They worked HARD their entire lives. They deserve to age in place. TRANSFER TRAUMA in our 80's & 90's is not about who gets the most votes and wins an election. Why move the remaining residents from their home and be scattered all over yonder to make room for a PRIVATE school, that serves less than 3% of the local area residents? THIS IS NOT RIGHT FOR OUR CITY.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 11, 2014 @ 6:41 pm

why let a for-profit entity take over and charge the market rate for rents? how does that help future working class members of our community?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 12, 2014 @ 4:02 am

AgeSong told Campos they wouldn't evict, but the follow up question should have been "will you raise their rent". The answer is yes. A for profit enterprise is bad news and then there's no endowment to help those who need it.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 10, 2014 @ 8:37 pm

If you would like to make comments about AgeSong, you should leave a name and contact information. You are misinformed.
The answer to that follow up question would have been NO!
Cristina Flores, RN
We will honor the Legacy resident's contracts - Please call me if you would like to discuss at 650-483-1202.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 10, 2014 @ 9:24 pm

For profit businesses don't run on a charity model last I heard.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 11, 2014 @ 2:09 am

How much are you donating to keep this center open?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 11, 2014 @ 2:27 am

You heard wrong - Cristina Flores, RN and COO of AgeSong Living
650-483-1202

Posted by Guest on Jul. 11, 2014 @ 8:59 am

A business needs to make a profit. If it makes a loss, it makes more sense to close the business, sell the assets and reinvest elsewhere.

If the city wants to bribe the business to stay open and the taxpayers are fine with that, then make it happen. But don't whine that I won't run my business at a loss just because you personally think the underlying cause is noble.

Put your money where your mouth is.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 14, 2014 @ 12:10 am

Why is it Campos allows problems to fester into crises before taking action or holding a hearing?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 10, 2014 @ 9:09 pm

Because when something becomes a crisis and makes headlines, he can show up in front of the cameras and act like he has a solution. But mainly he justs wants to pander to his narrow constituency and try to look busy.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 10, 2014 @ 10:30 pm

Jason Grant Garza here .... WOW, GREAT .... what PR for Campos. He said “You heard the testimony,” he told the University Mound board treasurer. “You know the city is going to do everything we can to block you” from moving forward with the July 31 eviction. “I am going to give you the option to do the right thing here,” he went on. “Are you prepared to call that deadline null and void?” His concern for ELDERS could be admirable; however, WHAT is the RESULT? Mr. Campos and other supervisors recently passed Laura's Law in regard to healthcare and their caring. I have been repeatedly denied healthcare, gone to the supervisors to get help and not gotten meetings (see youtube videos over 500 under Jason Garza) so now I will go back (keep watching the youtube videos) and ask about those who need healthcare and is denied SINCE NO ONE ENFORCES MEDICAL LAW. Shall we see WHAT Mr. CAMPOS' Office will do? Here is but one video ... where you will see DPH stating help (6/24/14) and as of TODAY 7/12/14 still NO CONTACT. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIPN-55O8UA ... KEEP DRINKING the KOOL-AID ... this is PR and propaganda ... unless after I go back THERE is ACTION and RESULTS ... shall we see? Will HE sue and have DPH arrested? Yes, I will be back at CAMPOS office to give him the OPTION of doing the RIGHT THING ... shall we see if the contact is not as the last ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NMDfV36LLk in addition shall we see what I get from Avalos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IsQe0x2-QI and the rest of the Supervisors? Here is what I got from my SUPERVISOR'S Office after HOW MANY MONTHS of my following up https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsIy8V0yHkY ... keep DRINKING the KOOL-AID ... I mean such concern in newspapers (Elder care, Laura's Law) but what happens when I go in? Learn the GAMES and watch the INHUMANITY and know that you and yours are NEXT. Keep watching the youtube videos to see what REALITY is verses sweet meaningless no result producing words.

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Jul. 13, 2014 @ 8:50 am

and profiteering (capital groups et alia) and this is deserving of only one type of response ;

violence

But the time is coming where it won't be unkind to start murdering people in the fucking streets and leaving a note on their bodies

anti humanist privateer

Posted by warning against violence on Jul. 15, 2014 @ 8:27 pm

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