Red Pine Estates residents evacuated from subsidized apartment building

With six days’ notice, the residents of Red Pine Estates Apartment Building have been evacuated.

Volunteer assisting with the Red Pine Estates evacuation

Nearly 50 tenants received notice last Friday about the vacation order from the City of Bemidji, after assessments by two structural engineers that indicated concerns about the structural safety of the building, with a note that an immediate evacuation was not necessary.

A release from the City said the Schuett Company, who owns the building, Beltrami County, Sanford Health, North Homes, and the United Way, and local volunteers, assisted tenants with the transition.

The Schuett Cares company, based in Golden Valley, claims to provide affordable housing solutions for seniors and disabled adults across the state, according to their website.

One resident, Elaine Clark, said she wasn’t aware of how bad the damage to the structure was. Clark said she had a room at a hotel for the next month, but after that, uncertainty.

Lisa Papp Richards, a volunteer on site, said she had concerns after the building management was reportedly offering non-disclosure agreements to vulnerable adults. Papp Richards said she began to advocate for people like the Red Pine tenants after her mother had suffered in a nursing home.

Volunteers move residents’ belongings out onto tarps.

Beltrami County Health and Human Services spent time yesterday on site, with Beltrami Health and Human Services Director Anne Lindseth saying while there are initiatives to address the area’s housing crisis long-term, the county is only equipped to offer referrals at this time.

The release from Acting City Manager and City Clerk Michelle Miller says the city believes arrangements were made for all tenants to leave the building by 4 p.m. Thursday, requesting the public to help maintain a peaceful transition for all tenants.

Volunteers gather wheelchairs to assist with the tenant evacuation.

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