Berkeley County coroner worried by boarding home problems

Berkeley County coroner Bill Salisbury is worried by boarding home problems in his community (WCIV)

Rainbow Residential Boarding Home on McKnight Street in Moncks Corner is being investigated.

Officials with the Department of Health and Environmental Control confirm they’re trying to figure out if its operating as an unlicensed community residential care facility.

It’s a similar problem inspectors looked in to several months ago at a nearby boarding home.

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A house at the corner of Cooper Store Road and Highway 6 in Berkeley County is where a county official has concerns. He says the people who stay at Rainbow Residential Boarding Home live in filth.

“I just cannot to the life of me see how any human being would allow somebody to live under those living conditions,” said Bill Salisbury, coroner for Berkeley County.

He explained he what he saw inside the house after an incident in March.

“I have found feces on the door knobs, on the walls. I found that the refrigerator was padlocked. I found bed bugs,” Salisbury said.

He told ABC News 4 he found those problems after a resident with mental issues walked away from the facility.

The coroner’s death investigation report shows the man died near a doorway at nearby Wesley United Methodist Church.

“He didn’t know what to do and he just sat on the steps of the church and died from hypothermia,” Salisbury explained.

Documents from the Department of Health and Environmental Control reveal investigators cited the owner in March and requested all operations be ceased.

Officials found the owner provided a degree of personal care to 10 residents. But a follow up visit in August showed the owner was complying with DHEC regulations.

Nevertheless, Bill Salisbury worries about the people who live at Rainbow.

“Maybe we can get somebody to do something to try and help get this mess cleaned up,” he said.

Leila Bay, the operator of Rainbow Residential Boarding Home, didn’t want to answer questions from ABC News 4. But she did say one of the residents who complained of abuse returned to the McKnight Street facility on her own after leaving it.

Salisbury says code violations that were found at the Cooper Store Road location were fixed.

But he’s still concerned about the welfare of the people who live there.

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