Families with loved ones living at the Fulford Residence for women were shocked to learn that the home is closing in September due to financial difficulties. Now in a race against the clock, Christopher Holcroft, whose 76-year-old mother lives at the residence on Guy Street, has started a movement to fight the reallocation.
“During a pandemic, after everything that the families have been through, it’s cruel,” Holcroft said.
The facility grappled with an outbreak in January. Overall, almost the entire staff and residents caught the virus. Ten residents died.
Holcroft, along with other families that have loved ones living at Fulford, have asked the Board of Directors for a six-month pause on its closure to find viable alternatives.
With a website and word of mouth, in a little over a week Holfcroft says the public’s response has been tremendous.
“We’ve had an overwhelming response, we know of two families that would like to move to Fulford, imagine what we could do with six months.”
The closure of the English institution is especially troubling for the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), a not-for-profit organization that connects language community organizations across Quebec.
“To see it close would affect our ongoing vitality. It’s a godsend for many families and many senior women to know that they can go there, that they can receive wonderful services and in their language,” said QCGN president Marlene Jennings.
The riding MNA Jennifer Maccarone says she will be sending her letter of support to the Fulford Board on Monday. She called the residence a vital institution to the anglophone community but also to the downtown core.
“Despite the fact that downtown Montreal is very metropolitan, there’s also families that live there and those families should have an equal opportunity for care that’s close to home,” Maccarone said.
Even though there has been a recent push from the community, the board of directors wrote in a letter written to Holcroft and the families, “at this time we need to move forward with this plan…please allow the management team to continue their care without interference.”
Holcroft, who said he is open to working with the board, found the response insulting.
“To suggest that the families are interfering with management and the care of our loved ones is hurtful,” he said. “We’re not interfering, we’re intervening to ensure their best well being is maintained by keeping Fulford open as long as possible.”