An adult day care in east Charlotte says its future is uncertain as it prepares for eviction by First Citizens Bank.
The Raleigh-based bank’s foreclosure against the site of New Friends Adult Day Health – owned by Walker Investment Holdings, which is managed by Charles and Elaine Walker – was finalized Nov. 27.
Bank spokeswoman Barbara Thompson said the bank has not set a deadline for shuttering the facility at 3401 Commonwealth Ave.
Elaine Walker, the adult day care center’s director, who is trying to keep her business intact, said an attorney for the bank indicated to Walker Investment Holdings that Dec. 31 is the deadline for the business to vacate the property.
She added that the facility, which specializes in care for people with Alzheimer’s disease, has roughly 30 clients and 10 employees. It is one of 11 adult day care and day health centers in Mecklenburg County, according to the county’s website.
Walker said she wants the bank to give the day care at least six months to find a new home. Her goal is to keep the business in east Charlotte, where she has been looking at sites. The business has been at its current site for about five years, she said.
Whether the day care will survive remains unclear.
The caregivers of her clients are “on pins and needles” over the situation, Walker said, adding that her client count has fallen from about 42 earlier this month, as social workers move out clients because of the foreclosure.
Walker would like the existing clients relocated as a unit to a new site. If that doesn’t happen, it becomes a question of whether it’s worth keeping the business open, she said.
“The last three weeks of my life has just been trying to stabilize the day care,” she said.
Thompson said First Citizens has been in contact with the N.C. Division of Aging and Adult Services to see what help the agency can provide to the clients that have to be relocated.
She declined to comment further, citing federal privacy laws and bank policy.
The 9,300-square-foot center is valued by the county at $423,300. Walker Investment Holdings owns the property, according to county tax records. Elaine Walker and her husband, Charles, are managers of Walker Investment, which was formed in 2008, state records show.
Elaine Walker said the day care’s troubles began when its funding sources, including county and Medicaid funds, were cut starting around 2011. About 98 percent of the center’s clients use government assistance to cover their day care payments, she said.
The slashed funding led to the day care falling behind on the payments it made to the holding company, which, in turn, made mortgage payments to First Citizens, she said.
The looming eviction resulted in a protest Thursday outside a First Citizens branch on Eastway Drive. Walker said one of her client’s caregivers organized the protest, in which Walker, one of her employees and other caregivers participated.
Walker said the bank has not done a good job of communicating with the day care.
“They’ve not reached out to the day care to see if there was anything they could do to help with the transition,” she said. “Why are they not understanding the human factor that’s involved?”
Thompson said First Citizens is not taking the situation lightly.
“We’re concerned for the patients and their families at this day care,” she said. “We’re hoping that new accommodations can be made.” Staff researcher Maria David contributed.