Eyewitness News reporter Rachel Polansky speaks with a worker and a recent retiree - they share what the last few months have been like inside the Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Center.
"Tell them you can't stay here anymore was heartbreaking, it really was," says Steve Hartz, MVPC employee.
Steve Hartz has worked at the psychiatric center for 9 years and he says everyday he watches a co-worker leave.
"We went from 5 wards, down to 3, down to 2, down to 1 in a matter of not even 5 years - it's a ghost town and it's sad," says Hartz.
But more than co-workers leaving, and more then re-locating, one recent retiree worries for the patients.
"Hutchings can only take 24 of our people. So now they're looking to discharge the other ones, and they're not ready for discharge, and they're having a hard time trying to find places for them because there's not. They can't take care of themselves, they can't manage their money, it's just so wrong," says Patricia Hoch. She worked at MVPC for 30 years but retired in late June.
The State Mental Health Commissioner has reduced layoffs from 139 to 20. But one MVPC worker says the number written may be accurate, but the number of patients and workers being affected is far greater.
"They've scared everybody into either leaving, completely quitting state services, or going elsewhere. The reports coming out that there's only going to be 20 layoffs are horribly exaggerated. We've lost so much of our workforce already because people are scared - they don't want to get the layoff," says Hartz.
Patricia Hoch chose early retirement. She said she's worked at MVPC for 30 years and she can survive. She wanted to save one more job for someone who needed it.
"I really didn't want to retire right now. But if it can save 1 person from getting laid off, somebody who may be raising children, have families to take care of, I just figured 30 years, it's time for me to go then," says Hoch.
The last in-patient ward is to set to close on August 23rd. The children's center will remain open but some workers can't help but think it's only a matter of time until the entire facility closes.