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Elderly Residents Hope for Support In Outage

With power out at Lake Anne Fellowship House, aging and disabled are hungry, hot and angry.

Residents at Reston's have been in the dark since Friday night.

While that puts them in the same situation as hundreds of thousands of the lack of power in the building for low-income and disabled seniors could have dire consequences.

"It's 90 degrees on the seventh floor!" said 87-year-old resident Henrietta Witt. "I am afraid someone will die here."

Sunday afternoon, a group of residents sat in the sweltering lobby, fanning themselves in the heat and drinking from the dwindling supply of bottled water that volunteers delivered.

Several residents complained that Fellowship Square, which manages the building, has been little help during the power outage. 

Fellowship House stopped serving group meals several years ago. With no power, residents have had food spoil and cannot cook. Most do not drive and have trouble getting to a store for supplies without assistance, which was not available this weekend.

One elevator in the building is working and the residents said there is no hot water.

"We have new floors, but no electrical backup," said one resident.

Said another: "I have had one cheeseburger and a few grapes since Friday. This neighbor of mine is blind. I had to guide her to a chair. No one from management has been here."

Representatives from Fellowship Square could not be reached.

managed by the same organization, did not lose power. Security guards there said Lake Anne residents were welcome to come to Hunters Woods and use their public rooms as a cooling center. Guards said one Lake Anne resident took a cab over, but as far as they knew shuttle service was not being provided.

The Lake Anne residents say they would welcome donations of water, cooked food, juice, coffee, ice and Diet Coke. Lake Anne Fellowship House is located at 11450 North Shore Dr.

BBurns July 02, 2012 at 01:02 AM
I'd call Jana on the number in the other article I posted above to see how much is needed. I just spoke to her - we're bringing a couple of traveler boxes of coffee; she's bringing tea and mentioned breakfast bars. I told her you were planning on hitting McDonalds.
cheryl carrier July 02, 2012 at 01:02 AM
I can shuttle people now. I asked about the need earlier.
BBurns July 02, 2012 at 01:05 AM
Judy and John - reading all the comments in order - or at least the last ones since there are so many! - will provide updated info. Apparently management checked on each resident four times today.. Lots of food, water, etc. was there when we went over. Breakfast is being organized and management is arranging fo bring anyone who will go over to Hunters Woods tomorrow - is working with Reston Interfaith too.
cheryl carrier July 02, 2012 at 01:05 AM
Well, better too much than too little.
jana broughton July 02, 2012 at 01:06 AM
There is a system for relief: We will be taking residents/offerring assistance to Hunter's Woods Fellowship House for anyone seeking relief; a few were taken there tonight. Our generator is operating one elevator for residents to use. They do not need to use stairs. We do not have a bus available for residents. We are offerring to contact family members/volunteers for those in need of transportation, or helping residents get on the bus to go to a cooling center. Tomorrow afternoon if power is not back up we hope to have cots/beds available at our Hunters facility for those seeking shelter. Also the local shelter has been in contact with us and can assist if residents desire a cooler place to sleep. Most are choosing to stay in their apartments. Please understand we are an apartment complex, independent living-we are not an assisted living/nursing facility. We also note that the majority of the residents have gone to stay with family or friends who have power, those that remain have been offerred alternative shelter and opted out. Thank you again to all who have brought food/water and ice, the residents appreciate the support and outpouring from the community.
jana broughton July 02, 2012 at 01:08 AM
At last count we are looking at 50-75 some residents have come back for the night from family. I am planning on food/drink for 75 again-yes better too much than too little.
Peter Schmidtson July 02, 2012 at 01:12 AM
Don't waste too much time with with Ms.Broughton. Waiting for two days to get involved. Sorry, where were you guys when you were really needed?
Mickey Alford-Lane July 02, 2012 at 01:22 AM
I contacted NBC4. Hopefully, they will send a news crew out and get them some help. I'll go over in the morning to see what I can do.
BBurns July 02, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Mickey, you might be interested in the comments (before yours) plus the updates here and in the new article. A link to the new article is over on the right called "Community Answers Call for Help."
cheryl carrier July 02, 2012 at 01:28 AM
So, no nothing is needed from the community? No breakfast, no transport to other facilities, no after services (grocery, clearing/cleaning fridge?). Please advise.
Karen Goff July 02, 2012 at 01:49 AM
No, they still need additional food donations monday, rides, trash removal, flashlights, etc.
cheryl carrier July 02, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Ok. I'm picking up 50 full breakfast meals w/coffee at 7AM tomorrow. There is a variety of everything and 50 coffee's. I should be at the location by 7:15AM. I'm glad to help. If any one can notify the residents, that would be great. There will be a variety of breakfast meals -all with hash browns and coffee (can you tell that I love McDonalds' breakfast!). I just spoke with the manager and they will have the order ready to go at 7AM.
jana broughton July 02, 2012 at 01:52 AM
Thank you! We will notify the building to be ready in the am.
BBurns July 02, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Way to go, Cheryl! Jana had suggested we bring the boxes of coffee - and she's bringing tea - over around 8:30, so I wonder if that's still needed. I think we'll still bring it. My husband's out getting breakfast bars now - apparently they're a hit and a good snack any time. Did you contact Jana?
Carolyn Miller July 02, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Better to have more food than less, is my thinking...should we knock on doors tomorrow? I am dubious about management saying they checked on residents 4 times today. After speaking with residents this evening there seems to be a slight difference of perspective about what is true. I understand 260 people live at the facility. Is there a way to know who has left to be with family or sought shelter elsewhere? If there is no power tomorrow, I strongly suggest knocking ondoors and getting names and basic information so we can recheck with them until power returns. Any thoughts?
Nisa July 02, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Yes, there is one working elevator. But I don't know how reassuring it is for an elderly or disabled person to find their way to an elevator and then have to ride down in the dark unless they have a strong powerful flashlight, then stumble their way through a very dark lobby to sit outside in the dark. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO DONATED FOOD/WATER/ICE AND THEIR TIME TO HELP TODAY!
Sane July 02, 2012 at 02:14 AM
Waste of resources.
Nisa July 02, 2012 at 02:20 AM
Sane - What do you mean?
Bert Katz July 02, 2012 at 02:26 AM
I am not sure who checked on whom and how many times. I know the security guard checked on the disabled in the morning, they are apparently putting a red tag on their door in the morning. I know that a second check was performed when my wife was there picking up my mother-in-law, and demanded that the EMT dept do that. Don't know about the other times. I believe the first management person to come to the premises since yesterday morning was Ms. Myra Mergler, who came in and brought the first batch of food around 4:30 today. So not sure about the checks, and am not sure that anyone did a whole lot as far as food, transport, setting up beds/cots on the lobby floor was done for these residents. Judging by the reaction I saw of the residents, I would say they were in need of support from staff which never came. There were people that could not leave their rooms that were not attended to until I asked other volunteers to go and check and bring food. Most of the residents were not aware that one could go to Hunters' Woods, and no arrangements were made whether via organized transport or volunteers like us. No help to the residents for those needing to clean their frigdes, until volunteers showed up. Honestly, overwhlemed by the community support, underwhelmed by the staff involvement - only happened after my daughter Nisa tweeted Karen who posted a Patch article. Hope this does not happen again
Jonathan Miller July 02, 2012 at 12:01 PM
Monday July 2 8:00 AM - UPDATE: Thank you everyone for your donations to date. The following our needed but please, NO MORE BREAD (Thank you to all that have brought bread but they are now well stocked with bread) Needed: Kosher hot dogs (they have a grill) hot dog buns ketchup, mustard, etc chips and snacks more water CLEANING SUPPLIES - There will be a great need for cleaning refrigerators. Please bring cleaning supplies and GARBAGE BAGS. THANK YOU!
Jen Towns July 02, 2012 at 05:51 PM
I don't see any updates as of 1:50 pm on Monday. I have some money donated from co-workers at AOL and want to know what is needed to be delivered around 4 pm today. Please advise.
Karen Goff July 02, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Hi - I just talked to the director there. They can use cleaning supplies like Clorox wipes, gift cards to local grocery stores so residents can replenish refrigerators when power comes back on, fruit like bananas. Coffee/breakfast tomorrow. Lunches and dinners are covered fro Monday and part of Tuesday.
Cherie Lejeune July 03, 2012 at 07:05 AM
Monday July 2 The continuing response to the residents at Lake Anne was memorable. Individuals, and families many with kids in tow came in a steady stream with food, water and the requested cleaning supplies, all day. Beth Burns even got Kona Ice to come from Manassas and the owner gave away free snow cones. The remaining tenants who did not go with their relatives, saw how many people reached out to them. Early anxiety gave way to lots of smiles and laughter throughout the day. They relaxed and enjoyed the dining room which had nonstop water and food and was coolish for most of the day. Many by choice returned to their units but took ice and water. Staff made sure that those unable to come down were checked on and had adequate water and were offered food too. I came early in the morning to see what I could do and ended up spending 9 hours doing a little bit of everything. Lessons re communications were learned for sure, but I know nobody was abandoned. This is not assisted living or a nursing home and the tenants are culturally diverse, older with health issues, so challenges, absolutely. And phone communications tough even for us smart phone users, due to the power loss. But again, biggest joy was that the community response again and more of it. It was hot sure, but cool night air moved in and everyone was prepared to cope. They know that food and support will be available again tuesday and, how ever long the outage lasts. Total rewarding day..thank you all around!
BBurns July 04, 2012 at 04:13 PM
The following was just posted on the article about power being restored to Reston Town Center. I'm re-posting here: From Beverly Bugos <<11:44 am on Wednesday, July 4, 2012 Lake Anne Fellowship House is currently without A/C and elevators, and about half the electrical sockets and overhead lights don't work. A transformer blew this morning throwing us into the heat again. Not all of us have power for refrigerator. We just started cleaning them out and restocking them. Not all of us shop at Giant. I know I don't and neither do some friends of mine. Encouragement of Dominion to give this problem priority might help.>> ----------------- My husband is driving up there now to see what's going on, and if there is a guard there today, ask him to contact staff and the board. That should not be as difficult, since land lines and cell phones are largely working now. I emailed Jana (executive director) and a couple other people.
BBurns July 04, 2012 at 04:37 PM
My husband is up there now. An electric crew is already working on the problem and has a trailer with some heavy equipment. Jana (executive director) is there. Channel 9 is there again too! Apparently about half the building has AC; there's power to half (?) of the refrigerators, and Dominion is working to replace a tri-something-or-other transformer or some other major piece of equipment.
Nisa July 04, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Lake Anne Fellowship House's power is completely out again (which includes ALL elevators). ***Please tweet/email/call Dominion and tell them this is a safety hazard for the elderly and disabled, especially the ones who cannot walk up and down the stairs, and it needs to be taken care of NOW.
BBurns July 05, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Nisa - and anyone - my understanding is that Dominion has been working on the outage since this morning. They'd been on Baron Cameron moving toward Fellowship House and behind Fellowship House so may not have not been visible to the residents. They left to grab some food but will be back. They are replacing line rather than doing another temporary fix that could go out again. Jana returned this morning when she heard about the outage, was there all day, and left a little while ago - she will return when the social worker's shift is over if power isn't back. Two other staff members are currently on site. Mae, the social worker, is there checking everyone in their units, handing out popsicles and reassuring people. There has been AC downstairs and in 50-65% of the units today, and many or most lights are on, some refrigerators, some stoves, all (?) tvs. The issue is the elevators. The county and fire department knows about the elevators and can get someone down if needed. David (husband) went there to check on the status, called me, and I talked to Jana twice as well.
BBurns July 05, 2012 at 12:22 AM
Update: David reports 4 Dominion trucks just returned - pulled up with a backhoe. All electricity was not out today. You could see many lights from the parking lot. See earlier post.
Bert Katz July 05, 2012 at 12:28 AM
My wife Gina also spoke with one of the Dominion supervisors, and they said they will stay with the job for as long as it takes.
jana broughton July 05, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Power is back on, everything is functional at lake anne fellowship house. A sincere and heartfelt thank you to Dominion and the crew who worked all day yesterday to get the building operational. Also thank you to the community who has been so supportive of the residents in this emergency. Fellowship Square, will be working with residents next week on emergency preparedness plans for future awareness. We all hope that our neighbors and staff around the area get their power back soon. This storm was a very large magnitude event and the damage incredibly wide spread. We will continue to pray for their comfort and safety, and for the good people of Reston who answered a call of need.

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