December 15, 2004 -- Posted at 6:32 p.m. CST
CHEROKEE VILLAGE, AR - The sudden shutdown of the Eastern Ozarks Regional Health System in Sharp County abruptly put 142 people out of work. Now many of the employees are just trying to get by.
"We've tried to apply for food stamps and a lot of us can't get them. The money that we do have, we have to save to pay our bills," said Sara Sliter, who's a former hospital employee.
Sara is one of many workers devastated when the hospital suddenly shut down 2 weeks ago. But, help is on the way. One Cherokee Village resident has teaming up with a local doctor to start H.E.L.P., Hospital Employees Livelihood Project.
"I'm just trying to get everyone together to give these people a little breathing room, " says Roy Tanksely, with H.E.L.P.
Tanksely has set up the H.E.L.P office in the Cherokee Village Town Center.
"We're offering counseling, we're teaching people how to write a resumes for job interviews. We're even providing childcare while former employees while they're out trying to find another job."
The H.E.L.P group is in need of things like office furniture and volunteers.