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Residents and staff at Stayner, Ont. care home allege deplorable living conditions

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Staff and residents at a privately owned assisted living facility in Stayner, Ont. are speaking out about what they call deplorable living conditions.

Leaky ceilings, flooding from poor plumbing, rotting damaged flooring, and a bed bug infestation are just some of the complaints that residents and staff allege at Huronia Guest Home.

"There are thousands in my room," said Randy McKay, a resident at Huronia Guest Home. "I'm being bitten alive, legs and arms, I can't sleep at night because of it."

Staff and residents allege they've also been left with either no groceries or just bologna and bread.

Community members have rallied to help give food donations in recent weeks to the facility after a social media firestorm.

"This small little town, I don't even have the words to thank them, but they all came together, and now my food is in great supply," said Candice Moncrieff, a cook at Huronia Guest Home.

The facility is not considered a licensed care facility.

In mid-2022, its owners terminated its domiciliary care funding contract with the County of Simcoe.

In recent weeks, inspectors from the county and Clearview Township have been through the home and are working with partners to address several issues.

However, the County of Simcoe said it doesn't have the legal or regulatory authority to intervene.

A spokesperson from the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority, which oversees retirement homes under the retirement home act, also said it has no authority over the site.

"This is a necessity of life, health, safety, cleanliness issue, " said Collen Simpson, County of Simcoe Manager of 911 and Emergency Planning. "We really want to ensure that these residents are taken care of, both in the long and short term."

10 staff members who provide 24/7 care say their pay has disappeared. Some are now battling homelessness themselves, trying to pay rent.

"We have not been paid fully since December 1," said Jody Thorne, Huronia Guest Home Resident Manager. "We received half our pay cheque on December 16, and since then, we have received nothing."

A statement from Huronia Guest Home ownership released through its lawyer said, "Huronia Guest Home is unable to continue operations due to financial constraints and inadequate funding. It is scheduled to close as soon as residents can be placed in other living arrangements."

Its statement added that Huronia Guest Home will also be helping residents to find new housing but has yet to directly address any of the concerns listed by staff and residents.

Meanwhile, Thorne and her staff said they only heard of this closure through media reports rather than from ownership directly. 

- With files from CTV's Christian D'Avino 

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