Families worried after learning home for NC veterans in Fayetteville is closing

Monique John Image
Friday, December 1, 2023
Senior home for veterans in Fayetteville to shutdown
Families being impacted say they're worried this could harm vulnerable veterans and distance them from their loved ones.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Some military families are concerned after learning the NC State Veterans Home in Fayetteville is shutting down.

Families that are being impacted say they're worried this could harm vulnerable veterans and distance them from their loved ones.

Families say they were first told last Tuesday by the North Carolina State Veterans Home that the Fayetteville location is temporarily closing. They say it will officially close its doors in January.

Sharon Daniels tells me she's concerned for her mother--a military spouse who lost her husband in combat. Daniels says her mother struggles with Alzheimer's and has been living at the facility for almost 10 years.

"I'm not only upset for my mom for this, but for all the veterans and all the other folks because it's kind of hard just to go and find someplace when you need time to start all over," Daniels said.

Louise Sweeney also expressed frustration over this, calling the shutdown abrupt.

"I'm very anxious. You know, I'm very anxious. And I just think that if they would have given us a little bit more notice or whatever, you know, everybody could have had a little bit more planning."

In a statement issued to families, the facility's operator, PruittHealth says it will work to relocate families to other veterans homes in cities including Kinston, Kernersville and Black Mountain.

But families say those locations are hours away, and will dramatically impact their ability to see and care for their loved ones. Daniels says she's worried that her mom won't cope well with the change:

"It might be a possibility that she could get depressed or loneliness," Daniels said.

PruittHealth also says it plans to build a new veterans home in Fayetteville, pointing to ongoing repairs that have been needed at the current facility. However, they say that the project could take at minimum another two years.

The State Department of Veteran Affairs responded Thursday to ABC11's request for comment made two days earlier.

"The NC Department of Military and Veterans Affairs has identified significant repair needs and structural deficiencies at the Veterans Home located on the federal VA hospital campus in Fayetteville. In response, Veteran residents will be moved to other facilities throughout the State in the coming weeks. However, none of the 85 residents in this state-run facility will experience any disruption in their quality of life. Secretary Gaskin has met with the veteran residents to share how the process will work.

"Currently, the Fayetteville home remains open and continues to provide the necessary collaborative treatment, from the Fayetteville Veterans Hospital and the community for each resident. Each resident's transition packet contains continuity of care, their choice of location, and transportation arrangements. Additionally, DMVA has identified a potential new location in the Fayetteville area to rebuild the North Carolina State Veterans Home.

The Department will provide public updates as decisions are made and announced on the next steps."