Staff impacted by Salmon Arm care home debacle fear they have to live in their cars

Cindy Bugaresti is a housekeeper at McGuire Lake Congregate Living who says that come Tuesday, Oct. 1, she will be living out of her truck. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)Cindy Bugaresti is a housekeeper at McGuire Lake Congregate Living who says that come Tuesday, Oct. 1, she will be living out of her truck. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)

After a ‘courtesy notice’ gave residents at a Salmon Arm assisted living facility 17 days to vacate the building, some staff members have said they will be sleeping in their cars by the beginning of October.

The notice, taped to several doors at McGuire Lake Congregate Living, stated the building that workers and 34 residents call home will be closed as of Oct. 1. Shuswap Grill Gourmet Burgary, a restaurant in part of the same building, was served a Notice of Termination effective July 29. Residents at the living care facility did not see their notice until Sept. 13, giving them a little over two weeks to find another place to live.

Read more: Salmon Arm martial arts school evicted along with assisted living facility

Read more: Seniors advocate: Incentives in system move seniors to nursing homes

Judy Pilloud is a senior who has been living at the facility for three years and is still trying to secure another place to live. She has her sights set on an apartment at the Silver Springs Retirement Residence in Vernon. While it’s within her price range, she is worried about her health.

“I’m not happy about having to go to Vernon; I have seizures. I had a real big one recently and I broke my wrist,” Pilloud said. “I’m kind of stuck because I don’t have a car and I can’t drive.”

Terry Sigvaldason is a resident who will be able to move back in with his son. Sigvaldason has been at McGuire Lake for just over a year.

“The main thing is we need a place to go,” Sigvaldason said. “This is the best place I ever could have ever found in my life.”

Since news of the evictions broke, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing reported that the Residential Tenancy Branch’s Compliance and Enforcement Unit (CEU) is aware of the situation and is investigating.

Lessee and operator Dan Shields said that on Friday, Sept. 20, Interior Health and BC Housing came to the care facility and met with and interviewed each tenant to assess their needs and wants. No further word has been received.

On Monday, Sept. 23, Interior Health provided a list off Kijiji of 100 listings throughout the Interior to residents. More than 30 of the listings are located in Vernon and about five were in Salmon Arm. Nearly half of the listings were for rents over $1,000 a month.

Read more: The power of Pets and Seniors

Read more: Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Cindy Bugaresti is a housekeeper at the Salmon Arm facility and said that she, along with a few others, have not been able to secure housing.

“Two cooks and myself, another workmate, we’re all homeless and jobless as of the 30th,” Bugaresti said. “As it sits right now my stuff is getting moved to the back of a pickup and I’m staying in the front.”

Diane Price has been a tenant for just over a month and has a shoulder surgery scheduled for Oct. 7. She will be staying with her sister for the time being but she said it is by no means a permanent solution. Although the surgery may be free, Diane is on the hook for $500 worth of medical supplies post-surgery.

Price said that residents need help, not only with finding another place to live but also moving out of their current dwellings. Many of the senior residents, the oldest 97, need assistance with bathing so moving is an arduous task.

Thomas Davies is a cook at the care facility. He, too, said his car will double as his home come Oct. 1. The change in Davies’ living arrangements means he will not be able to see his six-year-old son who lives with his mother.

“When you don’t have the finances you can’t take him out to eat. I don’t have the resources out here to be able to do that stuff,” Davies said. “I won’t be able to visit him which is heart-wrenching.”

Shields said he hasn’t heard back from any agency investigating the matter, which he considers frustrating.

“No news is not good news,” Shields said. “If I had answers that would be helpful.”

Lorenz Eppinger, representing the building’s owners, numbered company 951624 Ontario Ltd., told the Observer that Shields has been in significant arrears on his rent since 2014 and, over the last couple of years, was “repeatedly informed that payment was required or the lease would be terminated.”

Read more: Province investigating eviction at Salmon Arm assisted living facility

Read more: Seniors at Salmon Arm assisted living facility shocked by Oct. 1 eviction notice


@CameronJHT
Cameron.thomson@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Visitors to a pop-up temporary aquarium in Prince Rupert will have the chance to see marine ecology from July 21 to Aug. 15, like this viewer watching sea anemones at the Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Prince Rupert pop-up aquarium will bring sea level to eye level in July

A permanent peak to reef ecology centre is in the planning stages by North Coast Ecology Society

Prince Rupert’s Ellen Wright and Graeme Dickens jam out during filming the two Ring System Studio concerts to be broadcast on television during June. (Photo: supplied, H. Cox)
Ring System Studio sounds on television

Two concerts by the Prince Rupert music school will be broadcast in June

Commerical marijuana grow ops that are budding up in Prince Rupert’s downtown core are legal and out of the city’s jurisdiction, Mayor Lee Brain said, on June 14. (Photo:supplied/K-J Millar)
Prince Rupert downtown’s pretty dope

Marijuana operations grow in the Prince Rupert city core

Unionized longshore and port workers gather along Highway 16 on June 15 not crossing the picket line where Prince Rupert Solidarity Movement group protests the docking and unloading of the JPO Volans, a ship with Israeli designed technology and equipment. (Photo: K-J Millar/the Northern View)
Prince Rupert Solidarity Group pickets at port in protest

Demonstrations against the container ship JPO Volans lead into the second day to dissuade docking

BC Ferries has announced the welcoming back onboard of recreational travellers on June 15 after the provincial travel restrictions were lifted. (Courtesy of BC Ferries)
BC Ferries welcomes back recreational passengers

The ferries corp will relax mask-wearing in outdoor spaces

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Most Read