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Residents must still leave The Gardens, as leadership changes

48 residents were given less than two months to move out of the retirement community.
Residents of The Gardens Retirement Community were told to move out by Dec. 29.
Residents of The Gardens Retirement Community were told to move out by Dec. 29.(WMTV/Michelle Baik)
Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 2:49 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Independent Living Inc. is standing by its deadline before the end of the year to move residents out of The Gardens Retirement Community.

The company addressed residents and family members in a new letter obtained by NBC15. Dated Nov. 19, the letter wrote in part, “It is extremely unfortunate that we find ourselves in this situation. It is certainly not the outcome we had hoped.”

As previously reported by NBC15, 48 residents received an eviction notice signed by Brian Miller, the CEO since June 2018. The letter, dated Nov. 6, showed they had less than two months to move out.

The most recent letter was signed by interim CEO Jocelyn G. DeWitt, who has served on the board of directors.

“At this time we are not able to provide any information about a potential sale or the future of the building itself,” she wrote. “While Segoe Gardens is not financially sustainable into the future, we can confirm that we have the financial ability and resources to provide a safe and secure residence until December 29, 2020.”

Linda Pfister, whose 90-year-old father lives in the Gardens, shared her concerns about residents who have to compete for limited housing options in the area. “In the midst of a COVID19 surge in Dane County, these vulnerable seniors are being placed at risk for unnecessary exposure to the virus,” she said. “Where did our compassion for this population go?”

“Attic Angels caseworkers are advocating for the residents to the best of their abilities,” Pfister added, “but sometimes the housing that is available is not affordable or appropriate for the needs of the resident.”

According to the president of Attic Angels Mary Ann Drescher, her organization was tapped to take the lead in relocation services. On Wednesday, she said half of the residents had found places to go.

As of Friday, Independent Living has not returned NBC15′s requests for comment.

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