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Ont. assisted living home announces closure, gives residents 60 days to vacate

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Leaky ceilings, rotting floors, little food and bed bugs were the conditions at Stayner's Huronia Guest Home, in which residents lived during the last few weeks before a whistle-blower blew the lid off their plight.

While the County of Simcoe has no jurisdiction over the small Huronia Guest Home in Stayner, it, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, and the South Georgian Bay Ontario Health Team jumped into action to assist the residents once word of their predicament leaked out.

"This is a very unfortunate situation occurring at this privately managed facility, which impacts many individuals, their friends and family members. We will do everything we can to make them as comfortable as possible," said a statement from the county Thursday morning.

Despite their efforts, management at the Stayner home issued a notice to residents that the building would be closing permanently.

It reads in part, "The Huronia Guest Home has been faced with significant and overwhelming difficulties in maintaining services provided."

The notice continues," As you may have been made aware already, the Huronia Guest Home cannot continue to operate due to financial constraints."

Resident John Doucette has lived at the Stayner home for one month, and having previously been homeless, thought he had finally caught a break.

"Because I've come from a desperate situation to obviously, a desperate situation," Doucette said.

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 went through the home and were working with partners to address several issues.

Staff told CTV News that amid a lack of food, they were supplied with only bologna and bread for residents.

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 stated it has no authority over the site.

Ten 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."

For Doucette, the situation feels hopeless.

"I don't know what to do. I really don't know what to do. That's what scares me the most," he admitted.

Management noted it would waive monthly room and board costs for March, adding it understands the difficulty some may have in finding alternate living arrangements.

The notice states the building must be vacant before March 11.

- With files from CTV's Ian Duffy and Christian D'Avino

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