Two of the churches closest to are helping the residents there find a new place to live.
The and the have been helping their senior members forced to leave the complex as they struggle to find new homes.
Owner Tell Real Estate Trust told its residents last month it plans to sell the retirement complex to Alabama-based Capstone Development Corp., which plans to turn the 13-acre complex into housing targeted at students attending neighboring
The Rev. David Pattee at the United Church of Christ said all 11 members of the congregation who lived at Silver Oaks have since found new places to live with help from the church.
"We are augmenting the services that Capstone is providing to the people who are being displaced," Pattee said. "So we have members helping with those who needed to look for places to help them look. We’ve come up with some money for those who didn’t have a lot of cash on hand for deposits and other kinds of moving expenses.
"Stuff they want to get rid of is coming over into our rummage," he said. "Just basic stuff, like giving them a ride to drive behind the truck as it goes to their new residence."
A few of the six members at the United Methodist Church of Kent who lived at Silver Oaks are still looking for new homes, Pastor Dave Palmer said.
"One couple told me last Sunday they had found a new place, so people are in varying positions," Palmer said. " A lot of churches are finding themselves in the position of having some members there. What we’ve been doing is basically individual support type responses because people are going in different directions and have different situations."
Many residents of Silver Oaks are looking outside Kent because there are few apartments left in the city that cater to seniors. Several members at both churches — each a short walk from the complex on Horning Road — have been forced to move to Ravenna, Stow and other communities.
"The tragedy of it is that even people who are coming out of this OK, in terms of their new arrangements … the tragedy for them and for us is that they are almost all leaving Kent," Pattee said. "The ones who are members of our church, we’ll organize for them to be able to get here and continue to participate in things. In terms of the value they added to the community overall and the help they provided to community projects is just gone, and I think that does not bode well for Kent’s future."
Palmer said at least one of his members had to move to Ravenna from Silver Oaks.
"Some people are leaving Kent to surrounding communities because they can’t find a place in Kent," he said. "Silver Oaks was a great location for people, but they’re having trouble finding similar available housing."
Both churches plan to help those seniors who had to move and who are less mobile still attend service and other functions.
"Our biggest concern is helping these folks through the difficulty of having to find a place and move when they thought they were settled in to a place that was going to work for them for some time," Palmer said. "So it’s going to be an ongoing process."
Pattee said they will not lose track of the 11 members forced to move.
"That’s just our folks," he said. "There are over 200 who are being displaced."