Excerpts from Fosters.com Press Release by Kyle Stucker, posted March 29, 2019
Gafney Home to close, but "mission" will continue
After 115 years of serving the great Rochester community, the Gafney Home ceased operations as an assisted living facility on May 1 due to financial pressures.
Despite the closure, the nonprofit organization surrounding the Gafney Home will continue to assist the elderly in a yet-to-be-defined way. The Board is optimistic the historic Wakefield Street home itself will still be used to benefit the community.
"We're hoping and intending to continue the mission of providing assistance to the elderly in the community," said Carl Potvin, local attorney and president of the Gafney Home Board of Directors. "In what form that will take is still in the preliminary stages. We're exploring what our options and opportunities are." While the decision is disappointing, the Board believes it to be the best decision for the home's residents and staff, as well as the greater community. Financially, it is not feasible to maintain the assisted living program at this time.
The Gafney Mansion was built in 1894, and became the Gafney Home in 1904 after Judge Charles B. Gafney donated it for charitable purposes. The rising costs of healthcare played a role in the home's financial issues, as did recent construction of larger assisted living facilities in the area, and the gradual decline of the Gafney Home's population.
Across the Gafney Home's 115 years of serving the elderly in downtown Rochester, the home earned a reputation for care and compassion, according to local leaders. Mayor Caroline McCarley said many believe the home brought substantial warmth to long-term, end-of-life care. "It provided a real home and community," said Ms. McCarley, whose husband Dan Harkinson has previously served on the Gafney Home's Board. "I'm sure people can tell the stories of the great kindness that has been given there. I think it's a community service that will be missed."
Attorney Potvin, a board member since 2010, said he's grateful he's been able to play a role in an organization that has made a "remarkable" impact on Rochester's healthcare and history. "The Gafney Home has been a landmark for the city since it was first built. As an assisted living facility that began in 1904, it provided exceptional assisted living care for its residents for 115 years. It has served as a benchmark for the quality of care that the elderly should receive. I am optimistic and confident that the Gafney Home will still provide a vital benefit to the community moving forward."