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Wellspring nursing home patients’ families told ‘everybody has to be out by tomorrow’

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MILWAUKEE -- Wellspring nursing home near 91st and Fond du lac in Milwaukee was supposed to close in April, but that could happen much sooner, and 160 employees will lose their jobs.

"We were told everybody has to be out by tomorrow," said Jeff Sweetland on Wednesday, Feb. 27.

Sweetland's brother Phil, 63, stays at the nursing and rehabilitation center.

Jeff Sweetland

"These folks really brought our brother back to us," said Jeff Sweetland.

On Feb. 11, Wellspring's executive director said the doors would close by April due to "catastrophic, unforeseeable business circumstances," with all 160 employees let go.

Families were surprised to find out patients had to be out by Thursday, Feb. 28.

"Look at the short notice. These people are here for assistance. They're in need of a skilled medical care facility and just overnight, you're closing," said Renee, power of attorney for a Wellspring patient.

Renee headed in Wednesday to help her patient decide where to go, and quickly.

"Quality and outcome of care. That is my biggest concern here and there's a few residents still here until tomorrow when the door closes," said Renee.

Wellspring managers would not confirm the early closure or why. Court records showed several financial cases against the parent company for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"It sounds like it came with very short notice," said David Poll, whose dad stays at the center.

Paperwork filed with the state showed Wellspring could close by April 12, or when the last patient was out. According to the law, it cannot close prior to that date if residents are still living there.

"I think it's important the community knows what's going on in here and how this affects the community," said Renee.

One former employee told FOX6 News she quit and said she was uneasy about why the closure seemingly happened so suddenly.

FOX6 News reached out to the executive director multiple times and we were told more information could come Thursday.

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