State comes up short on Adult Care Home issue: Progressive Pulse

As is stated in the press release issued by Disability Rights NC below, the Perdue administration has, sadly, opted for several more years of glacial-paced “progress” on the issue of warehousing mentally ill people in “rest homes” rather than biting the bullet and entering into a bona fide and enforceable agreement as has been done in other states. All in all, a sad day for the cause

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I have been involved in a stakeholders group meeting with Bazelon attorneys. I am not at all surprised at an outcome in which NC DHHS places more value on adult care home operators than on the mentally ill (ware)housed in their homes.

Vicki Smith, Director of DRNC, is quoted as follows by Gary Robertson of the AP in his story online:

Vicki Smith with Disability Rights North Carolina, the group that leveled the 2010 complaint, said the plan sounds good on the surface but lacks a method to require the state to carry out the plan completely. Smith pointed out there's less than six months before Gov. Beverly Perdue leaves office and another administration arrives.

"Many of the people who are issuing these promises will not be around even at the end of the first year to ensure implementation," said Smith, adding that the state has fallen short of expectations in the past when it comes to mental health treatment.

"I just don't think people with mental illness can recover from another failed promise," Smith said.

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State’s failure to reach settlement on adult care homes

State’s failure to reach settlement on adult care homes complaint will lead to more delay and litigation

From Progressive Voices on Policy Watch
by Vicki Smith, Disability Rights NC

"...Scarce state resources that could have been used to help people in need will now go toward the costs of drawn-out litigation – litigation that will surely result in what state officials hoped to avoid, a court appointed special master."

The time for unenforceable promises has passed. People with mental illness and all other disabilities deserve a concrete and enforceable plan which protects their rights under the ADA.

It is long past time to bring down North Carolina’s “shameful walls of exclusion.” Unfortunately, it looks like we will have to wait a little bit longer.

Martha Brock