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Bay News 9

Owner suddenly closes St. Pete assisted living facility

St. Pete assisted living facility closed

Wednesday, May 13, 2009
ST. PETERSBURG (Bay News 9)

Thirty residents of an assisted living facility in St. Petersburg had to be relocated Wednesday because the owner was unable to pay the bills.

Bay News 9 was the only TV station out at The Verandah Assisted Living Facility while families had to figure out what to do.

Tuesday, the owner contacted the Florida agency for healthcare administration to say she would shut down. Wednesday, family members received phone calls that their loved ones had to move out immediately.

"I'm kind of at a loss right now. Want to take things one step at a time and go in and talk to them, see if I can get my mom placed somewhere near my house," said Ron Skinner, the son of a resident at the facility. "It's disheartening. It's really disappointing."

Residents who couldn't go home with their families got help from state agencies and other assisted living facilities nearby.

Shirley Moran runs an assisted living placement service for the Clearwater area. She says she's horrified by what happened at The Verandah.

"I understand they had to be moved out, but it could have been done in such a way to give them a little more time," Moran said. "This was their home."

Several Florida agencies, including the DCF and the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, are investigating the closing. If your loved one was affected, you can contact one of these agencies for more information.