What's Next For Greensboro Serenity Care Workers?

7:39 PM, Jan 24, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC -- As family members and loved ones continue to search for new places for residents of the Serenity Care Assisted Living Center to live, the focus is now shifting to the employees

This week, owner Larry Patton announced he was closing three adult living communities he owns and operates. He gave everyone three days notice. 

The Department of Social Services acted quickly and helped find all residents new places to live. Now, workers are scrambling to find new jobs. 

"I dedicated three years of my life. This is all I know. I'm all they know. We're a family," supervisor Latia Moon said.

Empty rooms, empty promises and devastated workers are all that remain at Serenity Care.

"Not only is my income going to stop, but the people that I see every day and love, I'm not going to see them anymore," Moon said.

Moon's patience, compassion and love helped her care for others.

"Just bringing joy to someone's life that doesn't have family...that's more than enough for me. Some people don't have family. The majority of these residents don't. So, they look towards us as their family," Moon said.

When she learned the center was closing, Moon felt betrayed.

"We didn't get a thank you, a hello, a good-bye or nothing. We didn't get anything," she said.

Now, the single-mother worries about how she'll pay her bills and care for her two children.

"I still have to survive, even after the door closes...Now, I'll have to go back out there and try again. That's all you can do," Moon said.

Typically when a business shuts down, the owner calls the state and asks for someone to help employees find other jobs.

However, from what WFMY News 2 can tell, that didn't happen here. So, WFMY News 2 Reporter Mark Geary made those calls.

The North Carolina Employment Security Commission told WFMY News 2 it would offer resources, information and guidance to employees. The commission can also help file for unemployment. But, it could be three weeks before the workers get an unemployment check.

If the owner, Larry Patton, does not pay his workers, the Department of Labor says it would put pressure on him. It could end up in court, and that could mean it might be years before anyone gets paid.

WFMY News 2 called, texted and emailed Larry Patton Thursday. We have not received a response.

Patton also owns a similar center in Montgomery County. We checked back in with that facility Thursday and the director told us all residents there had found a new place to live. The employees are searching for new jobs as well.


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