Residents from closed assisted living facility placed at various care centers

City closed the Sunshine Lodge Thursday because of code violations

Author: Cory Smith, Reporter, csmith@ksat.com
Published On: Mar 15 2013 10:48:22 PM CDT   Updated On: Mar 15 2013 10:57:47 PM CDT
SAN ANTONIO -

Case workers with Adult Protective Services placed residents from the Sunshine Lodge at various care facilities around San Antonio Friday.

The south side assisted living facility was closed Thursday after city inspectors found numerous code violations.

More than 30 residents were staying in the Bellaire Baptist Church gymnasium, which has a full kitchen and bathrooms with shower facilities.

Despite the amenities officials with APS said the living conditions amounted to neglect.

“Our main concern was to ensure that our clients were in a safe environment, that they had access to food, medication, and appropriate shelter,” said APS Regional Director Jo Ann Tobias-Molina.

Several police officers were brought in to assist case workers in removing the residents.

Sunshine Lodge staff members said the residents were safe inside the gym and that moving them was unnecessary.

”What they did was wrong. They traumatized these clients a lot more than they would have been traumatized by being here,” said Giselda Almanza, a manager at the Sunshine Lodge. “We had to lie to them and tell them that they were going to love this place when I don’t even know where they're going.”

Almanza said the staff’s main concern was that case workers did not take the residents’ medication, which was inside the gym.

Tobias-Molina said the residents would have access to medication at their new facilities.

Several care facilities sent a staff member to pick up the medication for the resident they were housing.

Almanza said an official with APS called and said they would send someone to retrieve the rest of the medicine, but by Friday night a majority of it was still in the gym.

“At least here they were getting their medications when they were supposed to,” she said. “That's not how they (APS) should have proceeded. They promised they were going to help us.”

If the owner of the Sunshine Lodge is able to bring the building up to code, the city will allow her to reopen the facility.

For a list of recent stories Cory Smith has done, click here.