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Family searching for answers following group home closure in Dearborn

Posted at 10:37 PM, Jul 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-02 22:37:33-04

DEARBORN, Mich. (WXYZ) — A metro Detroit family is searching for answers after their mother's group home closed suddenly.

“My mother has a terminal illness that needed around the clock supervision," said Derrick Kirk.

After a series of referrals, Kirk and his siblings brought his mom to a home on Hollywood Street in Dearborn.

According to Kirk, they paid a man around $1,000 a month cash and got hand-written receipts to care for his mom and drive her to appointments.

“He made us believe and think that everything was OK," Kirk told Action News. "And we had no reason to believe or think anything other than what he was telling us."

He'd never dealt with a group home before, and said at the time the owner seemed to be taking care of his mom. The picture was all right, Kirk said. The owner was friendly, staff members were in scrubs, and there was a medical equipment in the home.

However, then on Tuesday, the city of Dearborn temporarily shut down the place.

A notice on the door said the home cannot be occupied and must be inspected. It’s unclear exactly why the home closed.

Action News reached out to Dearborn police Tuesday for more information and are waiting to hear back. Neighbors said they weren't surprised by the closure.

“It’s been a nightmare," said Robert Ringle, who lives next door.

He said the owner moved in the middle of the night, and that since then there's been a lot of chaos coming from the home.

“As time went on that’s when our antenna’s kind of went up more and more and more," Kirk said. "But before a red flag presented itself, this happened."

In hindsight, Kirk said his mother, now staying with his brother, did have some concerns.

“She had an issue with being left alone and sometime she would be left alone to care for the other patients," he said. "He assured us everything was OK, he just had to step out for a second.”

Since the notice went up Tuesday, Kirk hasn't been able to reach the owner of the home. Action News attempted to contact the man several times as well, and have not heard back yet.

“He’s disconnected his phone number," Kirk said.

He and neighbors told Action News several patients had to leave the home Tuesday.

“There was three people I believe inside, from this morning. There was a quadriplegic in there," Ringle said Tuesday evening.

Kirk, who is still waiting on answers, had this warning for others.

“Check everything you possibly can before you sign up with these homes," he said.

The home's address is not registered with LARA, the state's regulatory arm. However, a LARA spokesperson explained that depending on the types of services offered, not all group homes require state licensing.

This is a developing story. Action News expects to learn much more from Dearborn police Wednesday morning.