TO DONATE: The 12 mentally disabled adult clients are in need of supplies such as food, water, and personal hygiene products. About half the clients are women and half are men. A donation bin is located in the lobby of the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office administrative building lobby, which is open 24 hours a day, at 911 Chambers Drive NW, Conyers, GA.
CONYERS - A Conyers woman who moved her mentally disabled clients of an illegal personal care home from place to place to keep ahead of authorities was recently arrested for neglecting and exploiting those clients.
Lena Germaine Hurst Clark was arrested Tuesday by the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office for running an illegal personal care home, reportedly since 2001. She faces 12 counts of neglect and 12 counts of exploitation of disabled adults.
The case is a complicated one that stretches across multiple jurisdictions, said RCSO Cpl. Michael Camp.
Clark's business, Care Oasis Enterprise, which had 12 to 17 adults in its care, first came to the notice of local authorities in July.
Clark and a business associate, Kenneth Wimberly, 60, filed reports against each other accusing the other of trying to steal money from the personal care facility. At that time, the clients were being kept in Fulton County, but both Clark and Wimberly were residents of Rockdale County. Investigators eventually determined the documents Wimberly submitted to show ownership of Care Oasis were forged and Wimberly was arrested on July 22 for false report of a crime and false written statements.
After that incident, Clark reportedly moved the clients to Clayton County for a few weeks. Then they were moved into Clark's rented four-bedroom, six-bathroom home in Conyers at 2654 Harvest Drive, in the Martha's Vineyard subdivision.
Rockdale County Code Enforcement officers were notified after residents noticed the situation and Clark was issued a citation on August 6 for running a personal care home.
"After she was cited, she relocated the people in her care to a local motel for about two weeks, at which point the motel figured out something wasn't right. They told them they had to leave," said Camp.
Clark relocated about 10 of the adults to another local motel. However, on the afternoon of August 22, she reportedly told a volunteer to drop off two of the mentally disabled adults in Atlanta.
"They were abandoned at a gas station in Atlanta," said Camp.
"(The volunteer) told them to go in and buy some food. They come back out and their personal belongings are on a curb. They texted (the volunteer) and she basically said 'Good luck... Ms. Clark doesn't want y'all.'"
However, another volunteer learned of their situation and became concerned. She went out to retrieve them and brought them back to Conyers. "She was trying to locate Ms. Clark's home and got confused," said Camp. It was close to midnight and she was unfamiliar with the subdivision. She flagged down a deputy and the two mentally disabled adults were brought to the motel where the other 10 adults were located.
"At that point, investigators found out there were 12 mentally disabled adults living in three (motel) rooms," said Camp.
Clark gave the clients $10 a week in cash for spending money and provided food. But each of the clients received anywhere from $400 to $2,000 a month in Social Security disability benefits, providing Clark with about $10,000 to $20,000 in funding each month.
"She was probably netting thousands of dollars" off her mentally disabled clients, said Camp.
Many of these clients have no family members to watch out for their interests or were removed from abusive situations, said Camp. Clark was given control of their financial matters and power of attorney.
After Clark's arrest, the clients were kept at the motel until the state's Adult Protective Services could find temporary homes. Most were placed by Thursday.
However, the clients are in need of supplies such as food, water, and personal hygiene products. About half the clients are women and half are men.
A donation bin is located in the lobby of the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office administrative building lobby, which is open 24 hours a day, at 911 Chambers Drive NW, Conyers, GA.
Clark had a business license for Care Oasis, which appeared to be in operation since 2001, but did not have a personal care home license.
She has also reportedly been cited by the state four times for running an illegal personal care home.
She has a business license for Amazing Mind Ministries since 2014, based out of her Harvest Drive home.
In interviews promoting her 2014 self-published book, "An Amazing Mind," Clark said she grew up in Jupiter, Fla., attended Clark Atlanta University, is a mother of four and was a former employee at the Centers for Disease Control.
In the book, Clark described her interest in mental illness and mental health advocacy starting after her husband Norris Clark died by suicide in 2008.
Also in the book, Clark thanks Kenneth Wimberly, whom she later filed charges against, for "being a professional mentor, volunteer, wealth of knowledge, and stepping up to the plate in supporting Care Oasis."