Mathison Retirement Community in Panama City, FL, on Monday began welcoming back residents who had been gone since mid-October, when Hurricane Michael damaged the property.
Residents will continue to return to the independent living, assisted living and memory care community over the next three weeks, Birmingham, AL-based Methodist Homes of Alabama & Northwest Florida President and CEO Christopher W. Tomlin said in a letter posted to the company’s website.
“When those move-ins are completed, we will be very close to full!” he wrote.
Twelve Mathison residents had been evacuated Oct. 12 to sister community Fair Haven in Birmingham, AL. By four days later, all of the community’s residents had been evacuated.
Affiliated communities Wesley Place on Honeysuckle in Dothan, AL; Fair Haven in Birmingham, AL; Wesley Gardens in Montgomery, AL; and Wesley Haven Villa in Pensacola, FL, hosted residents. Wesley Place and Wesley Gardens staff members also provided food for residents and staff members evacuated to a hotel for three days in October before the extent of the damage to Mathison was known.
“This experience has taught us how fortunate we are to have a network of retirement and healthcare communities,” Tomlin said in October. “Helping our Panama City residents get the food and care they need on the road would have been much harder if we had not been able to depend on help from our other communities in Dothan, Montgomery and Birmingham.”
Repairs to Mathison’s chapel continue, he said Monday. “In addition, there is some exterior painting and damaged gutter replacement that will be completed in April,” Tomlin added.