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Neighbors say former Pueblo nursing home turned into hot spot for squatters

Video Neighbors says former Pueblo assisted living facility is now squatter hot spot

PUEBLO, Colo. - It's been one month since the Johnson Home Assisted Living Facility located on the 400 block of W 13th Street in Pueblo lost its license after it was suspended by the state. 

A Colorado Department of Health and Environment investigation found that staff deliberately violated state regulations and put elderly residents in danger.

Today, nearly a month later, neighbors say the apartment complex has become a hot spot for
squatters. 

"They all sit around and hangout," said Sharon Johnson, a neighbor to the former assisted living facility. "They aren't as loud as they used to be, but there are a lot more people there."

Johnson's boyfriend owns the property next door, and is afraid for the safety of his property with so many unfamiliar faces frequenting the premises. 

In August, when the Colorado Department of Health and Environment suspended the
Johnson facility's license to operate, the state -- along with Pueblo County Adult Protective Services --escorted willing residents to new assisted living facilities. Some residents chose to remain.

"There are still a couple left over," said Johnson. "But there are all different people that were
not there before. Are they supposed to be there? Are they contracted to be there? I don't know."

According to a summary of the suspension obtained by KRDO last month, residents would let
homeless and displaced stay inside their apartments. However, that's just the start.

The investigation also found that residents living with mental health issues were consistently without medications. There were instances of violent threats, and one resident was known for setting objects on fire.

Pueblo police are no stranger to the place either. Johnson says officers would appear at the Johnson Home two to four times a month. 

In fact, since the beginning of 2017, officers have been called out to this building 523 times.

KRDO has repeatedly reached out to the owners for comment. They have not returned our requests.

It's still unclear who is taking care of the elderly that chose to continue living in the apartments.

In-home care services stop by the apartments for specific residents. However, the Colorado Department of Health and Environment tells KRDO that the people who chose to stay will have to be responsible for themselves. 

Pueblo Police say they are aware of the squatter issue at the apartment complex. Sgt. Frank Ortega, the department's Public Information Officer, says they have received numerous calls regarding squatters right after the living home's license was suspended. Since then the calls have died down. 


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