Angelus House families fear loss of group home

A Pasco facility for mentally challenged patients is running into trouble.

"It would be totally devastating. This has been his home for 10 years," said Ann Sahlman, whose 40-year-old son John has cerebral palsy and a six-month old's mental capacity.

She says The Angelus House has been the best home for John. "He has thrived in this environment."

When the Agency for Health Care Administration released a report stating that Angelus was not compliant, loved ones feared they might lose their federal funding and have to move to another facility.

"I really don't think it would be possible to find another home environment with this level of skilled care," said Sahlman.

AHCA's report flagged Angelus because its five group homes are too close together and the adult day training is located on site.

"Angelus is a community treasure," said Sahlman.

One of AHCA's compliance concerns is the front gate the agency says it keeps the residents isolated from the community. Loved ones of the residents tell 10News WTSP that's simply not true.

"I really feel like since he came here has more community he has more friends than he ever had when he lived at home," said Catherine Giangreco, whose son Marcelo has lived here for 12 years, she says the news hit hard.

"I haven't slept since they told me there was a possibility of that happening," said Giangreco.

While 10News was interviewing Joe Neri, CEO of Angelus, the AHCA called telling him the agency is willing to work with the facility to bring it into compliance.

"I think it will be a positive thing and we should be able to work through this and get everything straightened out," said Neri.

Great news for families who want the best for their loved ones.

"Very much your gonna make me cry," said Giangreco.

Angelus House has until 2019 to comply with AHCA's requests.



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