DPW closes second Donora personal care home

May 12, 2014
The state Department of Public Welfare alleges an illegal personal care home was being operated in this house at 474 St. Nicholas Drive in Donora. - Scott Beveridge / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

The state Department of Public Welfare evacuated a second personal care home in Donora, one that allegedly was operating without a license when its owner transferred a resident there under protest from a home in Westmoreland County.

The DPW executed a search warrant Friday at Linda’s Independent Living, 474 St. Nicholas Drive, after its owner, Linda Bryan, moved a resident there from the Close to Home Personal Care Home in Bolivar, court records state.

The Boliver home called state police when Bryan went there Friday to pick up a resident with dementia, but police permitted the woman to leave on her “free will” following unsuccessful attempts to reach her court-appointed guardian in Florida, according to the affidavit accompanying the search warrant signed by District Judge Mark Wilson.

The DPW Bureau of Home Services Licensing investigated Linda’s Independent Living and determined it was operating illegally in the past. The investigation revealed several “physical site concerns,” the court record indicates.

The resident left the Boliver home without her prescription medicine, money or personal belongings, authorities said. Bryan told people at Close to Home she already had three other residents with dementia in her home, the affidavit states.

DPW spokeswoman Kait Gillis said she did not know how many people were removed from Bryan’s home, and she provided few other details about the investigation.

Bryan said the incident Friday was a mistake, and that she never operated a personal care home.

“I had renters,” Bryan said.

She said she went to the Bolivar home to get the woman because the resident wanted to have more independence.

The DPW removed 41 residents Thursday from McKean Manor at Seventh Street and McKean Avenue in Donora after the borough condemned the building over safety issues.

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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