Assisted living facility director says her residents have yet to be vaccinated for coronavirus

HOUSTON – A Houston area assisted-living facility director is sounding the alarm, saying her residents are not getting the vaccines they desperately need, despite her tireless efforts. Now, she’s hoping that the elderly’s voices will be heard.

In the Trinity Gardens neighborhood, a community of olive green homes have become a neighborhood staple -- a haven of respite, care and pride for elderly neighbors. Nixon Home Care is a homegrown business -- a network of assisted living facilities and an adult day care. The facilities are led by those who take pride in the Trinity Gardens neighborhood. Executive director Shay Tatum grew up there.

“We want to service our own community,” Tatum said. “A lot of people know us here. We’ve been here so long. The neighbors know us, and I believe they all look out for us.

The multiple assisted living facilities are next to or near each other and all located near the corner of Lynnfield and Bleker Street. Nixon Home Care has been operating for more than 20 years, despite being located in a neighborhood starved of resources. The Nixon Home Care Assisted Living facilities and Nixon Adult Day Care are a haven to dozens of elderly clients.

“Fortunately, we haven’t had any cases of COVID here and we have been open as an essential place,” Tatum said.

Tatum said protecting the elderly is personal.

“To this point, not one of our clients have received the vaccination -- at all,” Tatum said. “We have also contacted CVS ... Walgreens so that our facility can get the vaccination.”

Despite her hours of work and many phone calls, she has not been successful in having her clients vaccinated even though her clients are in the 1A group of people eligible for the shots.

“We’ve contacted the city, our local representatives,” Tatum said. “‘Hey, we’re going to put you on a list and we’re going to keep putting you on a list until you’ve got it,’ but there are other places that are not very far from here who have been vaccinated.”

And taking a group trip, she said, isn’t safe.

“Our oldest client here is 95,” Tatum said. “Forty to 55 people a day ... you cannot put people on a bus.”