WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – On Friday, the Kansas Masonic Home (KMH) told staff, residents, and families that the home would close at the end of December.

Those with the KMH said the choice wasn’t easy, but its financial issues would not allow them to stay open.

The issues came to light in 2021.

In September 2021, the KMH closed its long-term care facility, sharing it was going to focus on its other senior living options.

That move forced about 50 residents to be moved to nearby facilities.

KMH Director of Sales and Marketing Jamie Bunch said this latest decision to close is not ideal.

“If they could have given the residents and their families more notice, they would have. This is the worst time of year to have to do this, and they tried to, you know, hold off even for a couple more months. It just isn’t possible,” said Bunch.

This affects about 60 people, including KMH resident Wanda West.

“I’m just heartbroken. That’s what I told them,” said West.

West worked at the KMH for 10 years but has lived there since June after having surgery.

“My husband is in memory care, and they take such good care of him up there, and I’m really sad to have to leave,” said West.

West said she will move back to her farm near Durham and try to find care for her husband up there.

But some are still on the hunt for housing. Bunch has been compiling a list of places she has called in Sedgwick County that has openings.

“We understand the stress and frustration that the families and the residents are feeling,” said Bunch.

Bunch said they are trying to take the load off for their residents.

Empowered Senior, a long-time partner of the KMH, has all of its board members and employees working to help residents find new homes.

“It’s important that these people feel stress-free, so they don’t have stress-induced illnesses or something,” said Empowered Senior Bookkeeper & Board Member Diane Haskins.

“We love our residents like they are our extended family, and if there is any other way we could have done this, we would have,” said Bunch.

Empowered Senior is looking for donations, and you can contact them here.

On Tuesday, the non-profit is holding a meeting with residents and families to go over what all they can help with to get everyone in a new home by Dec. 31.