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Program Which Provides Final Home For Terminally Ill In Ventura County Closing

Mary Pottorff, with her grandson at "Our Community House Of Hope" in Thousand Oaks. She spent her final days at the facility, which is preparing to close because of financial issues.

It’s a nondescript house you probably wouldn’t give a second glance on a Thousand Oaks street.

But, the house is a unique place where terminally ill people have been coming for the support they need to die with peace, and dignity.  Now, because of financial issues, the critically needed community resource is preparing to close its doors.

“Our Community House of Hope” is only one of three non-profits of its type in Southern California, with one in Santa Barbara, and one in the LA area. Teresa Wolf is the founder of the non-profit, which opened the four bedroom house in 2012. She says more than 200 people have been served by the home over the years.

But, the non-profit has been struggling financially, and despite the huge need for its services, the decision has been made to close its doors. Ann Sobel is Executive Director of “Our Community House of Hope.” She says they are lean, with two caregivers, her position, a guest care manager, and about 75 volunteers, but that rising costs, and reduced donations make it impossible for them to continue.

Sobel says it would take a half million dollars to set up an endowment, and do what it takes to keep the doors open. By closing now, they can do an orderly shutdown which won’t leave unpaid bills. But, she says what makes the situation really sad is that people in need will have nowhere to turn. As it stands now, they had a constant waiting list.

There’s only one client in the house right now, and when that person passes, the plan is to close their doors.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.