New Braunfels Helped Living Facility Amid Viral Videos to Close Its Doors | Community alert

More than 90 people with developmental and intellectual disabilities will need new homes after a local living facility confirmed amid viral videos alleging poor conditions will be closing its doors.

River Gardens does not have a set timetable for closing, but officials said it will not do so until all of its residents have been placed in new homes. This is something the company says it helps families with.

Officials said the shutdown comes as the facility’s parent company, Caregiver Inc. , its approach, but the decision will not affect other facilities in the region.

“Over the past year, River Gardens has been carefully considering moving resident care from a larger facility, to smaller community home settings in line with our company’s mission, all other homes in our network, and the overall trend in the United States,” a facility spokesperson said.

The shutdown also means River Gardens employees will need new jobs. Officials said the company will work to identify new business opportunities within the company, including moving some to facilities in San Antonio.

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The news comes after a series of videos in June on social network TikTok claimed that the facility allowed residents to live in poorly maintained and unsanitary conditions.

The series of videos created by user iveyfamilyfarms appear to show photos from inside the facility that show what looks like mold on the ceiling, broken light fixtures, windows left unlocked or closed with duct tape, holes in the walls and unsanitary bathrooms and living areas.

Officials with the parent company said the photos were posted without proper context and that the user did not give the company an opportunity to respond before posting.

Caregiver Inc. responded. In an online message: “The creator of a TikTok video who shared images of one of our Texas facilities did not contact Caregiver for a response prior to making online allegations about conditions at River Gardens or the 98 individuals we serve there.” statement. “So viewers are not provided with any context surrounding the content.”

Shannon Ivey, the author of the videos, said she contacted the company but received no response.

The company’s statement also gives an example of incidents that occur at the facility, including violent incidents of residents where the damage occurs, which are quickly remedied, and that some of the photos were taken in empty areas of the facility and were therefore not. notice.

Carl DeRoyter, a former maintenance worker at River Gardens, said repairs had to be done quickly given the small budget given to repairs and the number of times they had to replace or repair something as a result of ongoing damage to the facility by its residents.

“They will destroy the toilets, they will destroy the bathroom, (they) will destroy everything,” said Deruyter. “They ripped out booth doors, broke bedroom windows, kicked bedroom doors… It’s an everyday thing (and) it’s very hard to keep up.”

After the videos were released, Texas Health and Human Services visited the facility and conducted several surveys to investigate the allegations.

The Herald Zeitung has submitted a public information request for the records.

According to records, River Gardens had seven health visits by the agency before the videos were released – all of which were health visits and were made as a result of either a complaint, follow-up to a complaint, or an investigation into a reported accident. .

“Texas Health and Human Services recently conducted a survey of River Gardens including bathrooms and bedrooms, and the facility received scores of success; Caregiver Inc. reported that minor violations were cited during the last government audit in late 2021.

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