GAINESVILLE - After worrying for months about eviction from its current location, The Guest House now has a new home.
The day health care center for medically-fragile senior adults had been in danger of losing its facility on Tower Heights Road in Gainesville, property owned by HUD, the federal housing athority. The deadline to vacate is May 1.
But now, thanks to the generosity of a Gainesville business owner, The Guest House will take up residence at 360 Oak Street, hopefully no later than mid-April.
Executive Director Dana Chapman said Dr. Jeffrey Payne read about the plight of the Guest House and offered a solution to their problem. Chapman said the new location is pretty close to perfect.
"It's larger than the space we've been in for 20 years," said Chapman. "It's a great, bright vibrant location...near the library, right around the corner from the park. It's close to all kinds of other collaborators like United Way and Legacy Link."
Chapman said there will be some minor renovations to accommodate the elderly clientele of The Guest House. She said they'll add two new bathrooms and expand a dining area, along with removing a couple of walls.
The additional space will allow The Guest House to serve about 10 more clients, but Chapman said the service can't afford to grow too much.
"The folks that we have are frail and their memories are poor, and when we keep the environment smaller for them, it makes their days easier and it makes them feel more safe," said Chapman.
Chapman said right now she and her staff are extra busy, making sure the move will happen as smoothly as possible in the next two months. The important thing, though, is that they have a facility for the future.
"We have a new home," said Chapman.