DeLAND, Fla. – Dixie Lodge, an assisted living facility in DeLand, is closing its doors abruptly after it was stripped of its license.
Staff and residents, many of whom live with mental illnesses, were told on Friday about the closure.
Anny Layne, an employee with Dixie Lodge for 31 years, was told she no longer had a job when she walked into work Friday morning.
"It's going to be hard to even pass by here and not see this place not operate anymore," Layne said. "All I know is I came in Friday and I was told that we will no be operating this facility. Can't get license for whatever reason that is. I don't know why."
The owner, Jeff Yuzefpolsky, said he has been in a legal battle with the Agency for Health Care Administration -- the state entity that monitors living facilities -- for three years.
He said the agency stripped the facility's license because of paperwork but state documents show the business has been fined several times.
Two months ago, an on-site review noted holes in the ceiling where air conditioning work was being completed and a broken kitchen fryer.
Morgan Perry, an employee at the business, said she made complaints several times to the owner.
"We try to tell the boss like, 'Hey, this needs to be done. This room is, has bugs in it. This room needs to be fumigated' and it's like, 'Write a note and leave it by the door of my office.' OK, we do that but you don't do anything about it," Perry said.
A representative with AHCA said, "the final order was rendered denying the change of ownership application for Dixie Lodge ALF on July 12, 2018. The license was extended for 30 days for the purpose of allowing the safe and orderly discharge of the facility residents."
Yuzefpolsky said he was notified about the license on Aug. 9 by his attorney.
Staff and residents said they had to move out two days ago.