Chaucer Court

Location: 1019 SW 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97205

Dates: December 2022–February 2023

Status: Complete

Chaucer Court is a building in downtown Portland owned by the Union Labor Retirement Association and managed by Manor Management. The six floor historic building, a former Oddfellows Hall constructed in 1924 and substantially renovated in 2011, contains 83 studio and one-bedroom units for low income seniors and people with disabilities, along with offices for building managers and maintenance, laundry facilities, a community area at the foot of an atrium that opens to all floors, and even a dance studio in a repurposed basement storage space.

Peregrine Relocations teamed with building management and partners Community for Positive Aging to provide Tenant support and relocation services during a project that replaced the building’s sole elevator. Early surveys of tenants performed by building management found a strong desire on the part of tenants to remain in place during the project, despite the lack of access to an elevator. Peregrine confirmed these findings through outreach to tenants to identify their needs. We relocated two tenants with frequent medical appointments, to minimize their hardship, but for the rest of the community we focused on providing services in place. This involved finding ways to support and reduce tenants’ need for making trips up and down the stairs. We learned to drive a stair-climbing lift chair (for which tenants with mobility issues made appointments), and we also operated an electric hoist to lift tenants’ groceries, packages, and laundry up to their floors. We facilitated Meals-On-Wheels, grocery, and mail deliveries, and offered once-per-week laundry services to all tenants. Maintaining an onsite presence six days a week, we frequently made ourselves useful accompanying and assisting able-bodied tenants in making trips up and down the stairs, and we became knitted into the community in ways that helped people who might otherwise have felt stranded and lonely to feel connected and cared for.

Excellent planning and forethought on the part of building management, in coordination with the elevator repair crew and the building maintenance staff, ensured that the elevator work was done as quickly as possible with a minimum of noise and disruption. Partners Center for Positive Aging provided excellent one-on-one tenant support and brought weekly hot meals onsite for the whole community, along with small food banks on every floor. It was a joy to be part of the smart, hardworking team that pulled this multifaceted operation off, but the best part of all was being welcomed into this warm and caring community!

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