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Nursing home for elderly Blacks in Cleveland to close

March 11, 2022 GMT

CLEVELAND (AP) — What is believed to be the nation’s oldest nursing home for Black people in Cleveland has announced it is closing because of financial problems.

Eliza Bryant Village on the city’s east side was incorporated in 1896 to provide long-term care to Black residents living in the Cleveland area who were not welcome at white nursing homes. Many early residents were freed slaves, according to the nonprofit’s website.

Eliza Bryant Village President and CEO Danny Williams in a statement Thursday said the facility’s “business model is unsustainable” because of rising costs and falling admissions.

“Medicaid subsidies have failed to keep up with soaring care expenses and the COVID-19 pandemic have all wreaked havoc with our finances and forces us to make this regrettable decision,” Williams said.

The 99-bed nursing home is scheduled to close June 8. The organization will work to place current residents elsewhere while continuing to offer affordable senior housing, home care and adult day services. Nearly 100 employees will be laid off.

The facility was incorporated by Eliza Simmons Bryant in 1896 after a fundraising campaign. Bryant, the daughter of a slave, spent much of her adult life on humanitarian efforts to improve Black lives.