Chris Krenk

A Portland-based agency announced today it is closing all of its Lane County programs serving people with developmental disabilities.

Albertina Kerr operates 8 group homes in Lane County and provides community inclusion programs.

In a statement, Albertina Kerr CEO Chris Krenk said it is difficult to operate the programs from the Portland headquarters. He added it is hard to recruit and retain staff, and funding issues have increased fiscal challenges.

Caregivers at a non-profit that runs group homes around the state began mediation today (Monday). The Lane County union is concerned about job cuts, while administrators say their numbers are sufficient. The employees held a rally this (Monday) morning in Eugene.

Albertina Kerr is based in Portland. It serves youth and adults with developmental disabilities and mental health issues. The Eugene office employs about 65 care givers. With the Raging Grannies singing in the background, union president Linda Peterson says staffing issues are more important than salary: