ANDERSON — The two senior living apartments created by United Faith Housing in the 1970s are currently facing financial difficulties, and employees are paying the price.
Employees of both Vermillion Place and the Harter House are not being paid on a regular basis, and the facilities are delinquent in the payment of their utility bills.
As of May, the two facilities owed Anderson Light & Power a total of $7,000 and were placed on a payment schedule by the city.
With employees not being paid on a reliable schedule, a number of them have tendered resignations to take effect the end of July.
Megan Chismar has worked as a certified nursing assistant for 11 years. Her last day is July 31.
Chismar said the checks employees were scheduled to receive on July 3 for the pay period ending in June was received on Tuesday.
She said the employees were not paid on Wednesday for the pay period ending on July 9.
“This has been ongoing,” Chismar said of the late paychecks, “but it hasn’t been this bad. It’s hard to get an answer.”
She said employees were provided with a 25-cent-per-hour raise because of the late paychecks.
“Many of the employees held on for a long time because we cared about the residents,” Chismar said.
Bob Reeder, CEO of United Faith Housing, confirmed Thursday that employees have not been paid on a regular basis.
“We’re waiting for the rent to be paid,” he said. “We are rent-driven. The employees are upset about not being paid on time.”
Reeder said United Faith Housing receives a weekly check through Medicaid, but that doesn’t cover the costs. He said between Medicaid and the rent paid, a $238 monthly shortfall for each housing unit remains.
He said they work basically a month-to-month budget.
“We’re an outreach ministry,” he said. “We try to help people on a low and moderate income.”
Reeder said Harter House’s occupancy rate is currently 55% and for Vermillion Place, it is 85%.
He said the organization is hoping to retain some current employees or replace them by the end of the month.
“I’m meeting with the board to develop a marketing strategy,” Reeder said. “I would like to see things turned around in 90 days. We’re looking at new ways of doing things, trying to determine who can help us.”
Reeder said the 25-cent-per-hour pay increase has placed an additional strain on the budget.
“We’re all in this together,” he said.
Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.