Assisted living facility closes doors, forcing elderly residents out

Magnolia Assisted Living closes

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Dozens of elderly residents have been forced to leave their assisted living home.

Magnolia’s Assisted Living announced it was closing its doors Monday and residents had to be out by Wednesday.

"It's sad. It's been very sad the last 48 hours. Very sad. Like the rug was pulled out from under you,” said resident Mary Lynch.

Magnolia’s was a cozy home for 90-year-old Lynch. She spent holidays and birthdays there, and was hoping to celebrate her 91st at Magnolias in just five days.

“I said to my kids, ‘I will die here.’ That’s not very nice to predict your own future but when you get to 90 you don’t count a many a long years after that,” she said. “And just no warning, nothing. Just that you’re not going to be here you’re going to be put out.”

Employees explained they were just as shocked as residents.

"Yesterday when we came to work here, and yesterday morning we found out we were shutting down effective immediately and we have to be out of the building in 72 hours,” said Demetrius Gamble, who left his former job a month ago to become a director at Magnolia’s.

"The residents, they did not want to leave here. They didn’t want to go anywhere else. We’re pretty much their family, so when we came in here it broke my heart,” said Annette Crosby an employee of two years.

The letter that was sent to residents and employees stated that a planned sale of the facility fell through and that Magnolia’s couldn’t stay open.

“They’re all crying, but they’re staying here for these residents. It’s incredible. I think Demetrius slept here last night,” said Debbie Sullivan, whose mother lives at Magnolia’s. “I mean they didn’t get paid last week. They don’t know if they’re going to get paid now. But they’re main concern is these residents.”

Without a paycheck or a plan, the staff worked to get every resident a new home and helped them move out.

“For the love and companionship we have with the help, that’s what’s carried us this far. And they’re devoted and they won’t leave us. Of course,” said Lynch. “It was homey and all your friends now have gone different directions. It’s still sad.”

WMBF News reached out to Ben Read, the owner of Magnolia’s, who told staff he had “nothing to say” before hanging up.

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