Westchester Plaza residents need help moving

Westchester Plaza residents need help moving

Despite calm appearances outside the Westchester Plaza assisted living facility, residents' lives are being uprooted.

Just last week, Eric Thompson and his neighbors received a letter saying the facility would close its doors August 10.

"I just didn’t believe it," says Thompson, who's lived here for three years.

The majority of residents at Westchester Plaza are low income, disabled or elderly, and use Medicaid. And they all now need to find new places to live.

"They are folks that often times don’t have a lot of other options," says T.D. Smyers, the new president and CEO of the United Way of Tarrant County.

He says they couldn't just stand by. "A call to action," he says. "We issued it yesterday on social media."

On various web sites and social media forums, they've issued a plea to the public. Among other things, they are calling for packing material, boxes and your time.

Volunteers are needed to help pack and relocate these people, even Mayor Betsy Price is making the plea on Twitter.

Word is spreading rapidly. Thursday morning, Sean Factor, who owns Haltom City moving company, "The Moving Factor," says he'd gotten a call from his rabbi about the United Way's efforts. By the end of the morning, Factor had already dropped off boxes and packing materials at Westchester Plaza.

"There was no question," he says. "We live by the golden rule, try to help people. We believe what goes around comes around, if you do good, good will come back to you."

Smyers hopes more people follow Factor's lead.

"Our goal is to mobilize the compassion of the community, help them get through that with as little trauma and ease their burden as much as we can," Smyers says.

According to a spokeswoman for Westchester Plaza, she says "everything is running very smoothly, thanks to the efforts" of the state, United Way of Tarrant County, and others.

A spokeswoman for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission says there are indeed available Medicaid beds for all the residents, and they're helping residents with placement.

Eric Thompson, 53, has already found a new place to live. But he says many of his neighbors have not.

"God will be with them, they’ll find a place," he says, adding that any help is welcome.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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