Dozens of Workers Left Scrambling After Longtime Cleburne Business Abruptly Shuts Down

Owners of Lonestar Ranch & Outdoors declined NBC 5's requests for comment

Dozens of North Texans suddenly lost their jobs when Lonestar Ranch & Outdoors, a longtime Cleburne business, shut its doors with no warning, and the company hasn't given the workers their last paychecks.

Lonestar Ranch & Outdoors runs a feed, tack and farm equipment store and has an energy department working in the oil and gas field. The owners did not want to comment Monday, but they told employees the bank suddenly called in their loan.

As for helping the workers who were laid off, another Cleburne clothing business is offering free outfits for job interviews. It's a sign of community support, but it won't be enough for folks who can't pay the rent or keep the lights on.

After Josh Snow lost his job, his family struggled to pay the bills. The power company cut the cord Monday morning and the landlord sent an eviction notice.

"I've got beads of sweat rolling down my back as we speak," said Snow.

He's one of roughly 70 workers let go when Lonestar Ranch and Outdoors suddenly closed down Thursday with no warning and no final paychecks for the last three weeks of work.

"Never seen it coming,” Snow said. “It's like a big wave, you look up there's a big wave hitting you at once and there ain’t no way to get away from it."

"We're out there working for free?” Snow asked. “I don't know anybody that works for free."

Not while the bills are stacking up and the family is breaking down.

"Her first reaction was, 'do we even have a place to live anymore?'" said Snow’s wife, Tina, gesturing to their 9-year-old daughter. "We're gonna do everything we can to make you not homeless but the money's not there right now to pay rent and you've got people knocking on your door wanting money."

Cleburne is a place where neighbors stick together. Apos Boot Outlet is offering signs of hope with a free outfit for anyone let go from Lonestar.

"It builds up your confidence, especially after you've been through a tough situation like this. Sometimes people think nobody loves me, nobody cares for me," said Fernando Rodriguez, Apos’ Owner.

Donald Barron had nine years with Lonestar. On Monday, he swallowed his pride to take some help.

“Coming in here, it’s awkward, it is,” Barron said. “When you’re used to working for everything you’ve got, you come in and it’s like, yeah I heard about this. You kinda feel like you’re a bum.”

But he'll step into his next job interview with fresh clothes and a reminder: someone does care.

"You have to keep your head up,” Barron said. “You can't let it drag you down."

NBC 5 spoke to a Cleburne employment attorney who's helping workers find out exactly when the owners knew they were going under.

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