A Neighborhood Divided: Community Resistance to an AIDS Care Facility

By Jane Balin | Go to book overview

[7]

AIDS and Community: Some Policy
Proposals and Conclusions

Karen Jackson was both surprised and excited to hear from me. It had been almost five years since we had last spoken. In the winter of 1991, I was offered a teaching position, and by early summer 1992 I had wrapped up my research endeavors in West Highland. Several months later, in the winter of 1992, Chaver opened its doors to its first fifteen patients. The facility's operation, however, was short-lived. Chaver closed down as a nursing home for people with AIDS (PWAs) in the spring of 1997. By the summer of 1997 the Lutherans had begun negotiations to sell Chaver to an organization that planned to reopen the facility as a private nursing home for the elderly.

Why did Chaver close? Was there still organized neighborhood opposition to it? Had the neighbors resolved any of their differences, or were they still actively feuding with one another and with the Lutherans? What was it like to have lived with the facility as a nursing home for PWAs? What had happened to the Lutherans, especially the Reverend Schmidt? What had happened to Mark Johnson? These were the questions that moved me to call Karen Jackson and for the next several weeks to speak with others who had been involved in the Chaver controversy.

As it turns out, the Near Neighbors are once again involved in a battle over the residential care facility previously called Chaver and, before that, Elder Homes. But this time there is no support for the new facility. All the neighbors I spoke with agreed that the Lutherans had sold the facility to what the neighbors described as a “sleazy outfit, who have been indicted and found guilty of running substandard nursing homes for the elderly.”

-143-

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