Controversy Surrounds Sale of Respite Home Funded by Community in Esperance


Summary: A non-profit organization is facing backlash for selling a respite home in Esperance that was built through community fundraisers and government grants. The sale has angered residents who believe the proceeds should have gone back to the community. While the home will remain open to the four residents with disabilities, concerns remain about its future. The council tried to challenge the sale but could not find the necessary documentation.

The sale of Read House, a respite home in Esperance, has caused controversy as the non-profit organization Activ Foundation sold the property to Goldfields Individual and Family Support Association (GIFSA) for $500,000. The home, which was built in 1982 through community efforts and government grants, has been a vital resource for four residents with disabilities. However, the sale has left many residents upset, as they believe the funds should have gone back to the community.
Cheryl Hoffman, whose family was involved in fundraising for Read House, expressed her anger and disappointment at the sale. She emphasized the importance of holding the home in a trust to ensure its availability to those who need it. GIFSA CEO Terrence Winner acknowledged the concerns and mentioned the possibility of working with the Shire of Esperance to transfer the house into community ownership through a trust arrangement.
Esperance shire president Ian Mickel expressed his disappointment in Activ Foundation receiving the proceeds and the missed opportunity to establish a community trust for Read House. He suggested exploring options to bring other housing for people living with disabilities into the trust. Despite the controversy, the home will continue to provide services to the residents with disabilities.
The council attempted to challenge Activ’s claim to the house but was unable to provide the necessary paperwork to prove it was a community asset. Residents hope that in the future, Read House can be placed into a community trust, ensuring that the funds are used for the benefit of the community and protecting the availability of the respite home for those who need it.

Tags: respite home, community fundraisers, disability support, controversy, sale, community trust