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Viral TikTok shows damage, awful conditions inside New Braunfels adult living facility

A TikTok video with over 300,000 views shows damage at River Gardens, but the company who operates the home says it lacks context.

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas — A series of TikTok videos show horrid conditions inside a New Braunfels adult care center.

In the videos, you can see moldy ceilings, broken appliances, human waste on the floor, damaged bathroom facilities and more inside the private facility which cares for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

River Gardens' parent company is speaking out after the videos went viral.

Shannon Ivey says she received the photos from a staff member, stating "many of the patients are non-verbal and they need our help."

The video has drawn criticism from a former employee of River Gardens, who claims the conditions inside got worse after she left.

"I was sad when I saw it...I quit a year ago, but I'm not surprised it's even worse," Peggy Martin says she is glad someone was bringing awareness to the issues.

Caregiver Inc., the company operating River Gardens says viewers had no context surrounding the videos.

"Because some individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities may experience violent episodes and incontinence, accidents and property damage sometimes occur. When this happens, staff react appropriately and swiftly to restore a safe environment," a statement from Caregiver Inc. said.

The company claims not all of the facility currently houses residents, but Martin says she recognizes some of the rooms shown in the videos.

"They're just trying to cover it up and sweep it under the rug," Martin said.

In part of Caregiver Inc.'s statement, they say "claims that our dedicated employees would allow neglect are wholly unfounded, and accusations of abuse are unsubstantiated. Texas Health and Human Services has recently surveyed River Gardens including bathrooms and bedrooms, and the facility received passing marks; the center received zero deficiencies during the last state audit in late 2021."

KENS 5 received a statement from Texas Health and Human Services which says they are aware of allegations involving this facility.

"We are actively investigating to determine compliance with all relevant health and safety rules," the department said.

Martin says there is no reason why a vulnerable population should be living in conditions like this.

"They don't have family, they don't have people there to speak out for them so we need to be their voice," Martin said.

Caregiver Inc. CEO Mark Lashley said in the statement they will "work with our team members at River Gardens to ensure we are immediately addressing necessary repairs and providing a safe, secure, and healthy environment for the individuals we serve."

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