Most of the 117 residents of Westchester Plaza who were told in mid-July they would have to move have found a new home.
The facility, at 554 Summit Ave., will close its doors Aug 10. As of Tuesday, more than 100 people had been relocated and only a handful were still living in the building, according to David Frederick, United Way of Tarrant County spokesman.
“The response from the community has been tremendous,” Frederick said. “We’re really humbled.”
During the first week after the eviction was announced, about 40 residents relocated. During the second week, more than 60 made new living arrangements.
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The United Way issued a community plea for moving supplies, such as boxes, bubble wrap and tape, as well as volunteers to help residents move.
Individuals and businesses donated time, materials and money to the effort, Frederick said. Those still wishing to donate can go to the United Way website and designate a donation for Westchester using the United Way Emergency Relief Fund, but moving materials and volunteer help is no longer needed, according to the United Way.
Doug Sweeney, president of Westchester Prime Management, the group that owns the property, could not say how many residents remained.
“The move is going better than expected,” Sweeney said. “Providers, [the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services] have all been very helpful. We still expect to have everyone out by our closing date.”
Staff with the Area Agency on Aging, a part of the United Way, are still assisting Westchester residents with the logistics of moving, Frederick said.
“Some residents are moving to other assisted living facilities, some are moving to group homes, and some are moving to private residences,” Frederick said. “So some residents were able to take some of their belongings and some were able to take all of their belongings and some took none.
“Some people had options and others had fewer options,” Frederick said. “It really varied.”
Westchester, which has operated at the site since 1998, has a long and troubled history in Fort Worth, enduring financial hardship and complaints from residents over the years concerning inadequate staffing and other issues. Its owners are shutting the facility because they say it is too hard to operate in the current regulatory environment and with changes to Medicaid.
Amid the turmoil of the shutdown, an employee found a 61-year-old resident dead outside the building, slumped over in his wheelchair. The Tarrant County medical examiner has not yet posted a cause of death. The state is also investigating.
In April, Fort Worth-based E Capital Partners bought the note on Westchester Plaza in a bulk sale of Housing and Urban Development loans, the firm said. Erich Holmsten, a firm principal, said they learned of the closure after the sale.