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State closes assisted living facility for failing to meet residents' basic needs

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PELION, SC (WIS) -

A state agency has closed the doors on a Pelion senior center after it failed to keep enough food on hand.

State rules on residential care facilities require at least a one week supply of staple items and two days worth of perishable foods.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control says the home failed to comply with those regulations in two separate inspections.

The residents were not without food at any time but there wasn't enough on hand as required and management indicated there was no funding to buy more.

That means for the last five days, the facility known as JB Guest Home was closed.

The sign in front of the assisted living center called JB Guest Home reads "We really care."

But actions by state regulators suggest someone here didn't care enough.

At least when it came to having enough food on hand to feed 43 residents some who've lived here for years.

Jackie Tyler was a longtime employee, nine years and seven months.

Until Monday when DHEC and Lexington County sheriff's deputies removed the residents, sending them to other senior care centers.

"Some of them were sad, they were crying," Tyler says. "Some of the staff felt bad. Because a lot of them have been here 10-15 years and above, some of them."

We tried several times to get someone to answer the front door, which was locked.

No one responded though the door was opened for others who visited the facility including a woman, who identified herself as a representative of Lexington County's mental health agency.

A DHEC spokeswoman confirmed food shortages were a principal reason for the transfer of residents.

Tyler says there were other problems over the past few months including a lack of heat.

"We ran out of gas," Tyler says. "We ran out of gas but they wouldn't deliver because I guess lack of payment… last time that happened was November the 29th."

As for the food the building displays an "A" rating sticker.

And a July inspection by the non-profit called Protection and Advocacy for People With Disabilities led to a report in which residents described the food as either good or great.

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