By Vivian Shipe
Knoxville TN (TN Tribune) – During the November public forum, citizens of the community presented the city council with a list of concerns and questions surrounding the treatment of the mentally ill, eviction rates, and safety and isolation of the seniors who live at the Residences at Five Points. They have two weeks to come up with the answers by the next council meeting before the concerns are sent to HUD who has asked for additional information.
Members of the KCDC board that oversees 26 other properties like the Five Points facility are appointed by the city mayor. The eviction rates and treatment of the mentally ill on those properties are being questioned as well.
At Five Points, KCDC is still refusing to open the community room and at last check, say they have no intentions of doing so. Bingo games and Bible studies , even resident association meetings have grinded to a halt.
Safety problems have arisen and even the request for a police liaison for the facility has been tabled since May.
KCDC has not filled the position of community director saying they are still looking for someone. The job has not been filled and has been empty since May ; even questions about the status of the application of Alice Andrews, or “Lady Ladd ” as the residents lovingly call her who has volunteered with the center for 7 seven years go unanswered. Questions about age discrimination and race are being raised as the positions of those who left are being filled.
Ladd has continued to go to help the residents who call her on a daily basis, doing the things the community director position is supposed to do. Meanwhile, the website for the property boasts of KCDC having on site support staff for the residents.
The front door has a sign posted that says NO VISITORS for the residents as well. This prohibition continues despite the fact that the city and county and the state are living and thriving, even nursing homes have reopened with less restrictions than KCDC has placed on it’s residents.
Residences can not even get into the locked community room to use the wifi or computers to do necessary recertification to keep their apartment and there has been no one to talk to if issues arise since the room was locked down after the last director retired in May.
Just being able to eat is another problem for many of the elderly.
Food commodities which were being delivered outside the locked room are now being delivered outside the building due to no one being there to receive them from KCDC on a consistent basis.
The KCDC board will be addressed on December 9th, and following the city council meeting on December 14th, the response to HUD’s request for more information will be sent to Washington.
Since the Tennessee Tribune broke the story, other media outlets have been reaching out to the citizens about the problems they are having post pandemic.
Meanwhile, the room stays locked.
No visitors allowed for the residents.
The daily isolation continues.