Cook and Janitor of Nursing Home Kept Working without Pay Because ‘If We Left, They Wouldn’t Have Nobody’

A California nursing home that shuttered last fall lost most of its staff, leaving its residents behind, except for two people — cook Maurice Rowland, and janitor Miguel Alvarez.

Their story has been highlighted by StoryCorps and NPRand it’s worth a listen, even though it will break your heart.

“There was about 16 residents left behind, and we had a conversation in the kitchen, ‘What are we going to do?’” Rowland says on StoryCorps.

“If we left, they wouldn’t have nobody,” 34-year-old Alvarez said. “We were just the cook and the janitor.”

The team spent several days providing round-the-clock care for elderly patients, doling out medication, bathing, feeding, and looking after them.

“I just couldn’t see myself going home,” said Rowland.

Skip to toolbar