New hope on the horizon for Hope Creek Care Center

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EAST MOLINE, Illinois – While Rock Island County looks for ways to dig out of its financial problems, its struggling county-run nursing home may have turned a corner. Hope Creek, which was losing money and unable to pay its bills, is now making money this year. Now, staff and people living at hope creek have a better outlook tonight.

News 8 spoke to people living and working inside Hope Creek and the last 12 months they’ve seen a big transformation at the nursing home.

“All of my siblings and I are very thankful for that,” says Jan Knox, whose father lives in the care center.

For four years, they've seen hope creek's financial struggles first hand but they didn't leave.

“My dad will have a good place to stay for as long as he needs it so there is a lot of comfort in knowing that,” added Knox.

The county-run nursing home is in far better financial shape than a year ago. Last year... it lost $713,000.

This week, the county projects Hope Creek will be $600,000 in the black, bringing them out of debt.

“We’ve sat at the table and did a lot of number crunching and being able to see the fruition of that is a positive thing,” says Lynda Vogt, Executive Director at Hope Creek

Hope Creek's comeback comes after the county decided not to sell the nursing home last year. In the end, the county board decided it could be more costly to cut ties with the home.

“Say you get an extra $4 million from it to pay off the bonds then there is liability of insurance, pensions and unemployment that would eat up the extra at this point,” says Don Johnston of the Rock Island County Board.

The decision is starting to pay off.

“We’ve brought in over a million dollars just in the past month,” added Vogt.

Whether that's a fluke or a trend remains to be seen but management here says they're on the right track.

“We are not going to lose quality care trying to cut the budget,” added Vogt.

The Knox family couldn't ask for much more.

“Just knowing that my dad won't end up on the street,” added Knox.

Administrators at hope creek don't believe its success is a fluke, in fact, they believe next year could end with a balance of almost a million dollars in their favor.

County administrator Dave Ross now oversees operations after the county decided to end a contract with a management company about a year after it was hired.