Adult care center closes without warning in Mount Gilead

Adult care center closes without warning in Mount Gilead


by TONY BURBECK / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

Posted on January 24, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 24 at 7:21 PM

MOUNT GILEAD, N.C. -- A home for dozens of mentally ill patients in Mount Gilead has shut down with little advanced warning.

The closing left relatives and Montgomery County DSS workers scrambling to find homes for over 30 patients.  About two dozen employees at Tillery Chase Adult Care also lost their jobs as a result.

Thursday turned into an impromptu moving day for the patients who used to call Tillery Chase Adult Care home.

"You're disrupting their life, your disrupting their health, their mental state," said Kim Moore. 

Moore's sister, Shirley Benton, has lived at the adult care home for seven years. Benton's new home will be a care facility in Rockingham.

"When she goes to bed tonight, she's going to be with a bunch of strange people she's not used to," Moore said.

Employees say the 'it's over' was cold, cruel and disrespectful to them and the patients.

"They have disconnected the phone lines so residents can't let their families know where they're being placed," said employee LeAnne Hicks.

Hicks also says the owners had someone come in around 4:30 a.m. and remove food, which left the patients very little to eat and drink.  Someone also came in Thursday afternoon and tried to remove a dishwasher, but deputies told the person to leave.

"They took the ice makers out of the place,"Hicks said.

Employees also say their latest paycheck isn't coming and they were told to show up through Friday regardless or risk losing unemployment.

"Most all of us have kids that rely upon these paychecks to get them back and forth to school and pay for them to eat," said employee Jonathan Shaver.

Officials say Tillery Chase had significant problems and was in the process of having its license revoked.

Records show it went from three stars to zero stars in the state's rating system and the owners did not make recommended improvements.

"Some privacy issues, doors not being on the bathrooms, water fountains not working, some residents not getting their medications," Shaver said.

The owners closed up before the state mandated it, which left the Montgomery County Department of Social Services finding new homes for the patients.

"They will have a new place to live," said DSS Director Dottie Robinson.

Employees say repeated calls to the owner are going unanswered.  NBC Charlotte emailed the owner but did not hear back.