Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

At a wheelchair rally, Inglis House residents protest the sale of their home

Residents fear the loss of a way of life if the facility is sold to Tryko Partners.

Inglis House resident Linda Litton rides along Belmont  Avenue to protest the sale of the Inglis House to a for-profit group on Friday.
Inglis House resident Linda Litton rides along Belmont Avenue to protest the sale of the Inglis House to a for-profit group on Friday.Read moreYONG KIM / Staff Photographer

A group of Inglis House residents took to the sidewalk in West Philadelphia Friday afternoon to protest the planned sale of the home they deeply appreciate to a for-profit organization from Brick, N.J.

They said they fear the loss of so much they love about the nursing home at 2600 Belmont Ave., which specializes in the care of people with paralysis and impaired mobility. High-quality food, computers, museum visits, music, and shopping trips — things they may not find at other homes that can accommodate their physical needs — are some of the amenities that residents dread losing if the sale happens.

“Now it’s going to change, and not for the better,” said Annette Davis, who has lived there for eight years.

Christopher Hinchey, a resident for five years, is particularly worried about possibly losing what is called “community driving,” a program under which 32 of the current 172 residents are allowed to leave the facility in their wheelchairs to go shopping or out to dinner.

“Instead of it being a nursing home where we’re stuck inside, I can just go to my nurse and say, ‘I’m going out for today.’ I take my meds, check out with security so they have a head count, and I can go out to Target or just go out and about,” Hinchey said.

An Inglis spokesperson said the community driving program will remain under the new owners. “Life as our residents know it will continue as it always has. Just under new ownership,” said Gary Bramnick, director of marketing communications at Inglis.

Inglis Foundation announced the sale of Inglis House in July to Tryko Partners, a fast-growing for-profit that already owns 10 facilities in the Philadelphia region. Inglis management said at the time that the nursing home loses so much money that it will eventually jeopardize the entire organization, which also provides community services and develops low-income housing for individuals with disabilities who don’t need nursing-home levels of care.

A contentious issue is the Inglis Foundation’s $240 million endowment. Management says only a slice of it is restricted to the nursing home and will continue to support the nursing home after the sale.

In 1984, Philadelphia Orphans’ Court allowed the nonprofit to restructure, creating Inglis Foundation as the corporate parent to Inglis House, the nursing home, and Inglis Housing Corp. The foundation received $27 million in unrestricted funds. Inglis House received restricted endowment funds worth $4.5 million and $7.8 million in unrestricted funds, according the Orphans’ Court decree. Since then, the endowment has grown.

Residents feel that more of the money should be devoted the needs of Inglis House, said Satoru Amagasu, who has lived at Inglis for three years.

“What we’re calling for is a forensic audit,” he said.

Amagasu described Inglis as much more than a care facility. “Being we’re all in wheel chairs, the social structure is really quite nice. We understand how we’re living and what our restrictions are, so we travel around and live life very similarly.”

Amagasu is married and has a son, but sometimes people meet here and get married, officially or unofficially.

“Because of that, it’s a really beautiful place,” he said.