Rep. Goodwin: Saving a home of 50 seniors

By Oregon State Representative Christine Goodwin,

and State Representative Virgle Osborne

Representatives Goodwin, Osborne Ask DHS, OHCS to Take Quick Action to Protect Tenants, Staff of Forest Glen Senior Residence

Following the sudden closure of the Forest Glen Senior Residence in Canyonville which houses around 50 people, Representative Christine Goodwin (R-Canyonville) and Representative Virgle Osborne (R-Roseburg) sent a letter to the directors of the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) and Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) imploring the agencies to step in, assess the situation, and take appropriate measures to protect residents and staff. The letter reads as follows:

Dr. Hathi and Director Bell,

On Friday, February 16th, the owners of the Forest Glen Senior Residence in Canyonville abruptly closed its facility which currently houses around 50 elderly residents. No notice was given to the tenants or staff, and no arrangements were made to continue services or pay employees.

As soon as we became aware of the situation, we drove to the facility to investigate. Upon arrival, we found a shocked staff and confused and fearful residents. The physical condition of the building is also very troubling and clearly in need of signification repair and maintenance.

We believe that this situation falls within both OHA’s and OHCS’s areas of responsibility and we implore you to take immediate action to ensure that no evictions take place. OHA and OHCS officials need to immediately visit the facility, access the situation, and take appropriate measures.

As of today, several staff continue to go unpaid but remain dedicated to their tenants. Many community members and businesses have stepped in to fill the gaps by cooking meals, paying utilities, and removing trash – for now. We are so grateful to all who have come to the aid of these elderly residents, but it is not sustainable long term.

Oregon’s elderly are some the most vulnerable among us and their plight must be of top concern. Please keep us informed of your findings and know we are willing and available to assist in any way possible to determine the next steps to keep residents of Forest Glen safe and housed.

The Representatives continue to monitor the situation and await a response from the agencies.