Temuka's Bramwell Booth home not viable

19:31, Jul 07 2013
bramwell booth
WHAT NOW?: Shane and Sue Gibson are devastated that their two daughters, who are residents at Bramwell Booth home, will be forced to move.

With a $100,000 deficit over the last year Temuka's Bramwell Booth is no longer viable, according to its owner, the Salvation Army.

It will be closed on November 30 and the needs of its 23 residents will be reassessed by Salvation Army, Ministry of Health and South Canterbury District Health Board staff who will work closely with residents' families. Idea Services will also offer assistance in the process to find alternative residential care.

The home for the intellectually disabled is a small operation and cannot continue, according to Salvation Army supportive accommodation national director Gerry Walker.

He said referrals had decreased and they needed to operate with another seven to 12 residents for it to be financially sustainable but could not attract the extra occupancy.

The earthquake damage to one building had not impacted on the decision and the Salvation Army was still in negotiations with the insurance company, he said.

"We have not decided what we will do with the property," Mr Walker said.

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Parents of two residents, Shane and Sue Gibson, said the closure was not fair on the staff or residents.

"They [residents] are well cared for there and they are losing their home," Mrs Gibson said.

The couple are concerned that if they do not find a larger house to accommodate their daughters they will be separated from each other and them.

"There is no guarantee of where they could go and it could be further away," Mr Gibson said.

Mrs Gibson said it was good to live close to her girls because it meant she could see them any time.

Another parent who did not wish to be named said she was shocked at the way the closure had been handled and felt there should have been a public meeting for consultation first.

She is worried that with her own health problems she will not be able to drive to see her son if he is housed out of district.

The Timaru Herald