Clarehouse set to reopen following devastating flood

Clarehouse set to reopen following devastating flood

Clarehouse in Tulsa provides a unique, but important service to those who are terminally ill and their loved ones, but on Aug. 15, that service came to a sudden stop.

The Clarehouse facility is located at 7617 S. Mingo Rd. in Tulsa and on Aug. 15, a sewage line was blocked by debris on the other side of Mingo Rd. and the toilets began to act funny and not flush correctly.

The staff called a plumber, but while he was in route raw sewage had started coming up through the floor drains. The plumber called the city of Tulsa and after several hours of searching for the problem, the blockage was found.

The flooding started around 4:30 p.m. and everyone was evacuated out of the house by 7:30 p.m.

“We were trying to contain the black water that was flooding the first floor, but we weren’t having any success with that,” Clarehouse Executive Director Kelley Scott said. “The entire first floor was contaminated. They had to come in and rip out all the flooring and tear almost everything out. We lost a lot of furniture.”

The house had to have extensive environmental testing done before any type of restoration occurred. After nearly three months of being closed, Clarehouse will open its doors again to patients on Monday.

“Being a donation facility only, this has been a very trying time for us,” Scott said. “However, we made sure to keep all of our staff employed and we have kept busy throughout this time to make sure we aren’t going to skip a beat when we reopen Monday. The community has been so generous in so many ways. We are also in conversation with the city of Tulsa to find out if they can take some of responsibility.”

Clarehouse has 33 full and part-time employees with 250 volunteer workers. Jenks resident Anne Stevenson is on the Board of Directors.

Clarehouse has been around for 16 years and provides an alternative for those who are struggling on their own or those who do not want to go to an institution. The operation started in midtown Tulsa with several apartments but has grown rapidly since.

It is a donation-based funded operation that operates on a $1.3 annual budget. Clarehouse does not charge any patient that comes to their facility. It is a short-term service. The average length of time a patient will spend with them is less than a week.

“We can’t wait for Monday to get here,” Scott said. “We love this house and love everything this house allows us to do, but we have missed being able to do our mission the most and that is making those who are in their final weeks and days as comfortable as possible and allow their families and loved ones to be as comfortable as possible.”

Kyle Salomon

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