Assisted-living residents evacuated after found alone in bed bug-infested facility

DIXMOOR, Ill. --A criminal investigation is underway after a suburban mental health facility was evacuated because residents were living in deplorable conditions.

35 residents were evacuated overnight from Value Care Centers, located at 141st Street and South Leavitt Avenue in Dixmoor, after police discovered the facility was infested with bed bugs and no hot water.

Police received a call from a resident in the facility asking for help.

Officers arrived and found people lying on beds with no sheets and barely a blanket.  One person was on a mattress in the hallway.  Officers observed bugs on walls.

“There were bed bugs, there’s blocked doors, there’s garbage everywhere, there’s clothes everywhere,” said Police chief Ronald Burge. ”The building is just filthy.”

The exits had padlocks, locking everyone inside. One side of the building is in total disarray.  There was no hot water.

The evacuated residents were taken to hospitals to be checked out. The residents are between 20 and 50 years old. Two searches of the building were performed and more are expected.

Weeks ago, the Dixmoor police chief sent a letter to Mothers House telling the owner to cease and desist. They were illegally operating without a business license.

There were no staff members in the building Thursday night when police got the 911 call for help. No staff members showed up Friday.  Now police are looking for the owner of the facility.