Ex-workers relieved Breaking Ground veterans facility is closing
Some former employees of the Breaking Ground facility claim veterans would have been better off homeless, and they say they are relieved the federally funded program is shutting its doors for good.
The transitional residence for homeless and often drug-addicted war heroes has housed more than 700 at-risk veterans over the past decade. As News 12 reported, the Montrose facility will close its doors for good at the end of the year. The news comes on the heels of a News 12 special report.
Former Breaking Ground employee David Gordon claims he was fired after blowing the whistle on allegations of filth and medical neglect in a News 12 special report back in December. He gave News 12 pictures of urine-splashed floors, gaping holes in the ceilings and feces wiped on the walls. He is now suing Breaking Ground for wrongful termination.
Breaking Ground officials have claimed the facility was sanitary and safe, and say the closure had nothing to do with Gordon's allegations. They say a "drastic" reduction in the local veteran homeless population eliminated the need for a large program at the VA.
Former Breaking Ground worker Eva Turano says she doesn't buy the explanation. Turano says she quit her job after a veteran died of a heroin overdose during her shift. She claimed none of the staff was trained to perform CPR or administer the overdose drug Narcan.
The VA Hudson Valley put out a statement saying it was grateful for its partnership with Breaking Ground, and that it helped lead to a drastic reduction in homelessness. It added it is helping to find alternative housing for the veterans still living at the facility.