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Pasadena assisted living facility forced to shut down

All residents are being moved to other facilities just before Thanksgiving.

PASADENA, Texas — The state has issued an emergency order to close a Pasadena assisted living center due to health and safety concerns.

It’s happening at the Pine Tree of Pasadena facility. According to Texas Health and Human Services, the order was issued on Monday, Nov. 22. Everyone was supposed to be out Wednesday night, but KHOU 11 News was told 15 residents were still there. The facility said it's hoping to move them by Monday.

The state said it didn't take the decision lightly. This is only done in situations where the residents pose immediate risk

They tell us they are currently assisting 85 residents there to find another place to live. Assisted living is for people who need help with daily care but not as much help as a nursing home provides.

During the closure process, they have Health and Human Services workers on-site to ensure that residents are safe while they find them other appropriate facilities to relocate them to. Facility workers said the state has been there for three weeks investigating.

They tell us they’ve also dispatched nurses, nutritionists, social workers and pharmacists to provide care for the residents.

One family member we spoke with told us they’re frustrated because their grandmother just found out last night that she needed to leave the facility.”

They showed up Wednesday morning to see what was going on.

“We got here at 7:30 this morning," said one family member. "We drove from Humble. We live in Humble, so it’s not a close drive to come and pick her stuff up and they told us that we had until the end of today, until the end of tonight." 

As for the conditions inside, the state was not specific on what the health and safety concerns were. But speaking with neighbors in the area who know and visit with the residents inside, they tell us the conditions inside the facility were just not good. They say residents had to deal with roaches, rats and bedbugs. Some aren’t sure how the facility was able to operate.

We are working to get answers from the state as to the type of problems they had inside. So far, we’ve had no luck.

Neighbors are concerned for residents who don’t have family members or guardians to depend on. They hope the state will give them the help they need.

For Kenneth Petitfils, his apartment at The Pine Tree of Pasadena has been home for the past few years. He was forced to leave on Wednesday.

“Well I don’t feel good about this whole damn thing," Petitfils said. "Yeah, it was a surprise. All of a sudden, they’re going 'round and 'round telling everybody they got to move out. They had rats but I didn’t have any in my apartment except I saw one."

Anthony Palmer is also moving out. He said his brother is picking him up Thursday.

“Oh Lord, it’s infested with rats and stuff, in the house, roaches," Palmer said. “You have to kind of just flow with the punches. Whatever way they tell me to do, they can or can’t do, you have to do that.”

The executive director of the facility said the state told them to address several issues and they said they were working to fix them but ran out of time.

Dena Schoolcraft said the state was there looking into a complaint and found several issues.

“We had some structural issues, we have some pest control issues. We’ve also had a fire panel issue. ... They are extreme major health issues," Schoolcraft said.

Schoolcraft said she understand why the state had to shut them down, but she said HHS only gave them three days to make the repairs.

“But we are at the mercy of the vendors for when they can come get things fixed," Schoolcraft said.

They tell us they were told by the state that all residents had to be out by Thursday night. But the executive director says that’s not possible. She says they have 10 days to appeal this after the state leaves. And they plan to appeal.

They are also working to address the issues. They hope to be able to reopen and bring the residents back.

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