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Vets home closes

By Staff | Aug 18, 2013

An assisted living facility geared toward veterans has closed despite the owners’ passion for the project.

The Patriot Home Assisted Living located in Winnebago has officially closed its doors.

“There were three residents utilizing that facility,”?Parker Oaks Administrator Chris Knoll says. “So, financially it just wasn’t sustaining itself anymore.”

The week of July 22 marked the end of the facility.

Patriot Home was a 10-unit facility and only three of the rooms were occupied.

“The timing worked out that three spots in the main campus of Parker Oaks became available,” Knoll adds.

The three residents of Patriot Home were moved into the newly vacant units in the main campus.

The owners, Jim and Kathy Birchem, opened Patriot Home Assisted Living in June of 2011.

Jim served in both the Army and the National Guard and wanted to have Patriot Home as a way to honor and give back to other veterans.

“This was his way of giving back and wanted to see this project go through,” Knoll says. “Sad is a good way to describe how he and Kathy probably felt.”

However, they felt it was the right decision for the Parker Oaks community as a whole. In the meantime, the Patriot building will sit empty.

“If the opportunity presents itself, we will see if we can pick the Patriot Home facility back up,” Knoll adds.

The staff will direct their efforts to keeping Parker Oaks a staple in the community of Winnebago.

“We want to continue to be able to keep seniors in these rural communities,” Knoll says.

Along with the residents shifting to Parker Oaks, the staff from Patriot will shift to other positions in Parker Oaks as well.

Parker Oaks consists of the skilled care facility, assisted living wing and Dikker’s Heights which is independent care.