Some citizens in the District of Columbia feel they have been pushed into a corner with no real positive solution for them.
Recently, residents of the Washington Home & Community Hospice DC have been given notice they have to move out because officials at the Home sold the facility to Sidwell Friends School, although family members of patients and the patients themselves say they’ve been told its been long-denied a sale was being orchestrated.
Washington Home’s building and surrounding six acres of land along Upton Street boasts the city’s only inpatient hospice facility with 200 private rooms, a rehab facilities and spacious hallways; but Sidwell has plans to consolidate its lower school located in in Bethesda and place it on the newly acquired land.
Some people think Washington Home services some of the oldest and least financially solvent people in the city. Tyrese Gibbins, a Shaw neighborhood resident, believes the situation is simply terrible. “It’s hard to imagine that soon many of the citizens who need help the most at Washington Home won’t have that opportunity,” he said.
“I’m flabbergasted that these sick and elderly people are being pushed out to make room for a $40,000 a year prep school,” Wanda Knight said. “It’s like they’re saying we’ll make room for people who are beginning their lives and squeeze out those who are near the end of theirs.”
One resident, who didn’t want his name mentioned, doesn’t see a thing wrong with the deal. “This is normal city life,” he said. “It’s not like they are being asked to leave right now. Those people are being given over a year to get their affairs in order, and have to be out by the end of next year. There’s a lot of time between now and then.”
Some claim officials at Washington Home doesn’t plan to buy or build another facility, but Sharon Casey, chairwoman of the Washington Home board of directors, believes the deal allows the nonprofit that was a pet project of former first lady Barbara Bush to reach out to more people through in-home hospice care — something that’s been a growing trend.
The 127-year-old nonprofit has over 100 residents who receives medical care there.