Rally for Hope Creek

October  14, 2013

     Worried about the possible sale or leasing of Rock Island County's nursing home, labor unions will hold a rally Tuesday. Members of the Quad City Federation of Labor will gather late in the  fternoon just before the monthly meeting of the county board, and then go inside to tell the board directly.

     Federation president, Dino Leone, says the county should do everything possible NOT to sell or lease the Hope Creek Care Center in East Moline.

     "We have to have a place where our elderly can live peacefully, without the worries about going to a private home where once your assets area all diminished, there's no place to go other than the street, if it wasn't for the county nursing home."

     Since the county-owned facility does not have to earn a profit, he says Hope Creek can hire more workers than a private nursing home would, and they provide better care. 

     Just last week, county leaders announced they're considering selling or leasing the center because it's such a large financial drain on the county. But Leone believes they could find a way to raise revenue.

     "To this date you know the money raised by leasing the farm land out there at the previous home (Oak Glen) - that money should be used to pay down the principal. That's just one of many ideas we can do internally as far as revenue ideas."

     Currently Hope Creek has about 300 employees, with about 250 of them belonging to local 23-71 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees union. 

     The nursing home now has 226 patients, including 146 supported by Medicaid and Medicare, and just 65 paying for their own care (a few others are hospice or veterans).