TARENTUM (KDKA) — The state is now investigating after dozens of elderly residents living in a Tarentum personal care home were forced to leave overnight when the facility closed with little warning.
While a number of agencies have stepped in to find new places for these elderly people to live, the residents, their families and the home’s employees are all angry.
More than 40 elderly people lived at the New Hope Personal Care Home in Tarentum.
But on Thursday night, they were abruptly told to move out.
“I’m very distraught that we have to move people in their 80s and 90s, and we have a lady here who is 100-years-old, and we’re moving them in this kind of condition,” said Mona Lohle, of Partners in Placement, which is trying to help management find new homes for the residents.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, which regulates personal care homes, owner Ronald Halko gave the required 30-day notice to close on Jan. 14.
However, nine days later, Halko pulled the plug saying he didn’t have money to pay his employees or to buy food.
The state and several local agencies stepped in to help move the residents.
“No one from corporate has been here to help with this,” said Lohle. “All it has been is phone calls, get them out.”
This afternoon, the owner’s son finally showed and there was an angry confrontation with employees who hadn’t been paid.
To insult to injury, all of the residents had paid their $1,000 fee to live there for the entire month of January. But they haven’t gotten refunds.
So, the state says it will reimburse the residents for six days rent. That money will be paid to the new homes they are going to.
As for the owners of the Tarentum home, the state is investigating and may take some action, but their options are limited since the home is already closed.