Telling Our Stories: Frank

Telling Our Stories
“Frank is a colorful character, well known to Downtown Portlanders, and has resided at 333 Oak for almost 30 years. Purportedly he once was an assistant producer in cinema, and is known by name or as “The Mayor” at all his local haunts.

One such haunt is a local Starbucks, where Frank can often be found having lively conversations that can grow quite heated on an old cell phone while chewing on his signature unlit cigar.

Having reached his ninth decade, Frank began having some physical and cognitive issues that began to concern Scott
Brumitt, the Oak’s Resident Services Coordinator (RSC).

Historically, always punctual to pay his rent, Frank began to miss his due dates. At first a reminder from the manager or RSC would suffice, but gradually it became necessary to physically walk Frank to the bank, lest he forget en route what his mission was.

Out of concern, Scott filed multiple reports with Adult Protective Services to help Frank, but his fiercely independent nature would cause him to deny any problems when an assessment specialist would visit.
SFinally, Frank suffered a couple of falls. While he was relatively uninjured, the experiences rattled him enough that he began to accept help. Working with a particularly effective Aging and Disability worker, Scott was able to schedule a reassessment of Frank’s capabilities. The original decisions were overturned, and Frank was deemed to meet the criteria for being in need of assistance.

Unfortunately a bureaucratic impediment arose. It turned out Frank’s substantial Veteran’s pension shifted the responsibility to the Veteran’s Administration to meet any of Frank’s in-home assistance. So the process had to begin again.

Thankfully, the APS worker Scott connected to Frank was a huge advocate for him, and went above and beyond their departmental duties to help set up appointments for Frank & the VA to meet.

Frank was quickly set up with a payee who would pay all of his bills, and ongoing medical and psychiatric contacts.

Frank’s fears of being forced into a bad assisted living situation were allayed when he was given a tour of a new Vet’s facility he would have access to, and assured it would only be when he agreed he could no longer live independently.

Scott then replaced Frank’s rickety cane with a new and much more stable walker, which makes him much more confident getting around town, so for now at least, The Mayor will be able to roam Downtown in the way he is accustomed.
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Northwest Housing Alternatives