Lack of money forces non-profit to shut down multiple disability homes

Posted at 6:19 PM, Nov 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-16 19:35:21-05
Bethesda Lutheran Communities President and CEO Mike Thirtle tells TODAY'S TMJ4 that the organization is between a rock and a hard place.
"It's very difficult for us to make a decision like this. We're literally losing $600,000 a year right now in the Milwaukee area," he said.
It's due in part to a lack of much-needed donations. Because of the losses, the faith-based non-profit that takes care of people with disabilities has decided to shut down six of its group homes in the Milwaukee and Sturtevant areas.
"It really hurts to see this kind of situation occur, that's why people are upset, we're upset," Thirtle said.
Thirtle said this decision will affect at least 50 employees and 30 residents -- including one family who did not want to speak on camera.  
They told us over the phone the news is devastating, as of right now they don't have a place to relocate their 37-year old daughter. However, they said they are at least grateful Bethesda is helping them find another place for their child to live.
Thirtle said he promises to make the transition for these families as easy as possible.
"Those homes will not close until people are safely transitioned to another provider," Thirtle said.
Thirtle said he expects for these homes to close within the next two to three months, and said they are working with local agencies to make sure the transitions are safe.