Disappointment in closing of Women’s Home

A legacy left to help women in need in their late years of life has been totally trashed by a board who basically told us that they didn’t want to deal with it anymore. At first they met with some of the family members and announced the closing of the home and put in writing that it would be kept open until the end of June, 2018. Just recently they have decided to get rid of as many (if not all) of the remaining residents. Sending them on their way in the middle of winter. As I stated before, most of these women have no financial means to continue living in a similar surrounding that they have been used to. Many with poor memories are being shoved out the door. Not because the staff is not taking care of them, very adequately and with much care, but because this board has washed their hands of the responsibility. We’re not sure how this board was formed, or by whom. They have given an excuse that they cannot financially keep it open. At another meeting with the board, we had several suggestions. One was that they were not at capacity (they turned away many who expressed an interest in living there), another was that someone who should have been collecting the monthly rent was not doing their job and had allowed at least three residents that we knew of to lapse in payment. One resident’s family was asked by her insurance company to provide a death certificate, because they had not been billed in at least six months and presumed that she had passed away.

Another question asked of the board was what if someone would donate a million dollars. The person speaking for the board (not a member of the board, but a spouse of one) stated it wouldn’t matter, this board is finished with this place! Yes, I have several witnesses that this was said. We tried to find out if someone had already purchased the home. No, and it had not yet been appraised for sale. So, now it is for sale. When/if it sells, the money will go to the Marietta Community Foundation. The board initially stated they would do all they could to help the ladies find a new home. Well, that is of no consequence, because the families can do that on their own. The cost difference is much more than what they have paid there. Which is why the home was established in the first place.

It is my opinion that the board has let everyone down. They really don’t care, because they have nothing invested. Especially no family member of their own in this circumstance. The management has apparently fallen short in keeping the home in the black. However, they accepted thousands of dollars of new windows from one of the MCF members contributors, knowing they were going to close. Also, they accepted the hard work of a local Boy Scout who built the beautiful above ground garden, knowing this would no longer be a Woman’s Home. I personally contacted someone from the state who was willing to cover the cost of a new roof. They contacted the director who told them it wouldn’t help.

Do I sound frustrated. You better believe it. The Grinch is not an animated cartoon character, it is the board (most of them) at the Woman’s Home in Washington County, Marietta, Ohio.

If we could find an attorney, pro bono, we would love to see what can be done.

Francia Engle

Wapakoneta, Ohio