For some time the public as a whole has had a concern about mentally disabled adults living next door and within their community in neighboring homes. Many citizens have the attitude, “not in my backyard NIMBY” and are dealing with proximity issues. There are a high number of mentally disabled adults across the nation and the amount of people living within designated houses and institutions increase yearly. The large baby boom generation includes a relatively high number of the mentally retarded and developmentally disabled.
Social Scientist and other researchers say a large quantity of the population is unprepared for the rising number of mentally challenged individuals entering society. Many housing developments are ill prepared to house the growing population of the mentally disabled adults therefore creating more homes with within the community to solve the problem. More than fifty four million Americans have a mental disorder in any given year, although fewer than eight million seek treatment “NMHA Resource Center”, 1.Order now
Already the system is showing signs of strain; waiting lists have developed in many states and total 70,000 to 80,000 cases nationwide. Long lists and delayed placements have led to class action lawsuits against many states. The lack of sufficient housing and aid for the mentally challenged has led to an increasing amount of problems within society. While Gambs family struggled to place their child into a treatment center their son, Roger Gambs, stole two of his father"s guns, only to protect himself from the blood-sucking vampires he believed existed in his backyard.
After this he was then eligible for a placement into a community residents home Parker, 1A. In 1987 a mentally retarded man, Ernest McCarver, was convicted of robbing and murdering a fellow cafeteria worker Low IQ Killers, 1A. Of the thirty-eight states with the death penalty, thirteen forbid the execution of the mentally retarded Biskupic, 4A. Cases such as this occur and then lead to the need for homes or Community Residents to supervise and care for these individuals.
From these cases, many citizens have now developed a sense of fear living close to them, another words it is a proximity issue. The manager at the DePual Community Residents across New York and Pennsylvania for mentally disabled adults, said “the key to making the housing complexes successful is reducing the fear the public has towards the residents by educating them on what consists of these homes and what the circumstances are within the home Conner. ” As the need for additional care facilities increases, more houses and institutions are placed within the community.
For decades nearly 800f individuals have been cared for at home, but as most of these baby boomers hit fifty-five, many of their parents are reaching a point where they are no longer able to care for them Savoye, 1. Of the 1. 9 million developmentally disabled individuals living with family caregivers, nearly 500,000 are 60 or older and are expected within a few years will need new living arrangements with certified supervision Savoye, 1. 300f all the population will become mentally challenged at one point in their lifetime Lyness, 3C. They can develop anything from a mild case of depression to schizophrenia.
Community residents or group homes throughout Rochester, NY are now being used to accommodate mentally disabled adults. The Easter Seal Society of Monroe County and Regional Center for Independent Living both provide Assistive Tech/Equipment, Community Education, Legal Advocacy, and Case Management. Also Compeer is a supportive friendship for the mentally disabled adults between volunteers and people receiving mental health services. The DePaul Community Residents is a home providing care for mentally disabled adults within the Spencerport community along with several other communities.
Funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development help provide permanent housing options to consumers of the mentally disabled community. This community provides a program called Continuing Day Treatment Program. This program has mental health services which assists adults recovering from a chronic illness. It was designed to hold private treatment and rehabilitation within the proper therapeutic surroundings. Some other services may include 3 nutritional meals a day, emergency call system for 911 purposes, housekeeping & laundry, hygiene assistance, and case management services.
Within these homes Supported Housing and MICA work with one another to locate and secure the home. Other funds from the department was support on purchasing furniture/household items and accommodate a support plan. This is all provided in Monroe and Erie County. Within these community residents, DePaul provides transportation fro consumers to many appointments and programs they might need to attend to wish too. They have 60-van fleet that provided transportation for almost 75,00 trips in any given year. DePaul gives transportation in ten different counties and 2 states.
They have a total of 4,500 clients annually and use over 2,000 beds to accommodate residents. This community residents also provides over 900 jobs, so there"re obvious benefits for both players. An example of what the state is looking to do within the next couple years, to accommodate the growing number of mentally disabled adults. As the cost of hospitalization increases the appeal of the house keeps increasing and homes just like it are going up throughout not only Rochester but also the entire nation. The cost of living in a monitored home like DePaul is less than half of that of living in a hospital.
The house has been around for over eighteen years while the governing agency has been around ever since the late 60"s. Roughly, one hundred people have gone through the house since its induction in Spencerport, but because of the issue of confidentiality the actual number cannot be determined. People entering into the home come from a variety of different back rounds with assorted types of illnesses ranging from age"s eighteen years old and up. To be accepted into the home a resident must have an access 1 diagnosis. This diagnosis comes with a major mental illness that has existed for over six months.
The process of evaluating a patient comes from diagnostic criteria written to accommodate the entire nation called the DSM-IV. Each resident must also undergo a yearly or bi-yearly check up with a psychiatrist who assesses each resident"s situation individually. They must also fit a designated criterion, which includes possession of insurance, no past history of violence within the past 6 months, and under the care of a psychiatrist or therapist. At this house the caretakers retrain people"s responses to what"s going on in the outside world.
They re-teach the residents everyday skills that they would need to live without assistance inside the community. These skills often include what medication they need to take it, when to take it, nutritional skills, and who to contact for certain situations. As ideal as these houses seem, and as popular as they are becoming problems still do arise within the community where they enter. The community residents are hidden within the community and for the most part blends well with the rest of society. However some instances have arisen that have raised questions regarding the home.
The residents make daily trips to the town and back and some have been known to create some problems. One resident was not allowed to cash his check at the local bank in town and therefore retaliated by going to the local hardware store and buying paint which was later splattered onto the bank floor. These instances are few and far between though. Most cases are blown out of proportion and looked at differently because the person involved was mentally disabled and therefore the people are questioned much more with a greater concern. In our interview with Art Conner we discussed situations that have come up within the past couple years.
He told us about residents moving out of the home into society and the problems that they faced in the outside world. One resident was kicked out of his apartment for walking to heavy, another for showering at 5 a. m. which was necessary so he could get to work by 6:30 a. m.. These minor issues which would not affect any other person within the apartment complex were taken care of harshly and strictly based on the fact that they were mentally disabled adults and they were more likely to do wrong. This stereotyping is very common throughout all of our society. Another example that dealt with stereotyping Mr.
Conner gave us was an old lady living next door to one of the mentally disabled adults. Before meeting him she complained to the manager about living next door. To take care of this they were brought together and actually met each other. They then became friendly with one another, later on after hearing a thump next door the mentally disabled adult called 911 and in turn saved the lady"s life after she suffered from a stroke. When the public realizes that these residents are no more harm to them than any other person, then there will be no more problems between the mentally disabled and residents within communities.
The population of mentally disabled adults is growing rapidly in the Spencerport, just as the rest of the United States. Because of this there is a need for community education/awareness so that the patients will be accepted into the community instead of taking abuse and discriminated against. Therefore our service line for community support, informative forum, and educational pamphlet about mentally disabled adults will benefit both the community and the DePual Community Residents by informing them and helping the home feel welcome with the village of Spencerport, NY.
In order to carry out our service line, forum with an appropriate curriculum and hand an informational pamphlet out that we have decided it is necessary to take the following steps: Contact the DePaul Community Residents regarding our service line and informative forum, receive permission from the IGA within town of Spencerport to place free pamphlets at all exits for citizens of the village to take and then contact the Suburban News to advertise these informative pamphlets within IGA.
As we try to improve the knowledge lacked throughout the community about the mentally disabled adults we need the time and commitment of the community to put our policy into action. The participatory citizen can stay in contact with the DePaul Community Residents through a service line that was created for surrounding neighbors and the DePaul home located in Spencerport, NY. We hope to accomplish knowledge being spread throughout the community about the mentally disabled adults and over power the myths on them.
We hope to set up meetings quarterly to keep neighbors in touch with the house and keep a phone contact with the house so the police will not be needed for random calls when the mentally disabled adults aren"t harmful to their health or the communities. It is first necessary to obtain permission from the DePaul Community Residents" manager, Art Conner, to take part in a service line system and set up a community forum. This service line will allow the community to contact the DePaul Community Residents if a citizen feels uncomfortable, is concerned about an issue or has suggestions for something they would want the home to discuss.
We will determine whether our service line system will be an appropriate action so that both the community and the DePual Community Residents can benefit from a communication approach. We will know if the DePaul Community Residents and community benefit from this by checking the number of calls taken each week concerning problems, and the number of calls police receive about the house. We can take the number of calls to both the house and police station to see a decrease in complaints to the police.
The Service Line system will be addressed in the pamphlet that we will be handing out to the surrounding neighbors and exits among IGA within the village in a drop box. It is available so the community can call the house first on a less serious problem instead of calling the police or 911. An example would be a mentally disabled adult is walking through someone"s yard or having a breakdown due to the lack of their medication needed creating concern for a citizen.
From this both players can interact with each other and voice ideas that they think are necessary to be done. The community then will learn to accept the DePaul Community Residents as a neighbor and be more educated on the topic. As you can see communication is key. The second part of our approach was to tackle the lack of education within society by running a forum for the neighbors and community educating them on the mentally disabled community and giving them an opportunity to ask questions about the home and its residents.
To implement this we must first get a written statement signed by Art Conner that says that he will run the forum and speak to the community Appendix _. Second we must obtain a location for the forum. According to Art, he feels for proper attendance it would be best to hold it in the school cafeteria at Spencerport High School. In order to hold the forum at school we then filled out a building release form, which then was signed by the principle. Along with this comes contacting the neighbors and advertising the forum to the public.
To advertise this event we will send out flyers to the surrounding neighbors of the home, leave stacks of their flyers inside IGA within a drop box, and put an ad in the Suburban News advertising this event. On both the handouts and in the ad there will be a number to call for the community if they would like to attend, allowing Mr. Connor to prepare for the event. Lastly, we would have to set up a meeting time and come up with an agenda for the meeting so that everything was organized. We then set up the date with Art, and we agreed that it would be held on June 25, 2002 at 7:00 p. . To do this we would need permission from the stores to put the pamphlets in them and a set criterion for the pamphlet itself. By putting all these plans into action we will be able to accomplish our goal of educating the public. From the beginning Art Conner said, “The biggest problem with our community is the lack of education. ” With our policy people will be able to become as educated, as they want to be with different levels of commitment as small as reading a pamphlet and as involved as attending a forum that may become a biyearly event.
The key players involved in our policy are mainly Art Conner and his staff, but also included is the IGA in Spencerport, the participatory citizens, and the Suburban News for the advertisement to promote the awareness for the mentally disabled adults within Spencerport. The public will become aware of our policy through the advertisement in the Suburban News and we will be passing out a pamphlet made with the help of Art Connor. Through our policy we need to convince the public that our policy can work and stay put into place.
We want to have our meetings held quarterly to keep the public informed on mentally disabled adults and what is going on monthly at the DePaul home to a certain extent, to keep the public communication between the home and the public close. It is important to attract surrounding neighbors to participate in our community forum biyearly and Service Line, to accommodate a comfort level for neighbors and acceptance for the DePaul Community Residents into the community. After all the necessary steps are taken to make the public aware of the event we would need to devise a curriculum to make the forum both interesting and educational.
To truly make an impact on the people that come to the forum we would talk to the DePaul Community Residents and discuss the main issues that we would like the public to be most aware of. We will then come up with an interesting way to present the information to the people attending the forum. By developing a good curriculum for our policy the agency and the people involved would benefit. The Community Residents would make their point known to the people and be confident that the people went away with the knowledge they taught and the people attending would feel as if they"ve done something to benefit someone.
Some people may not support our policy because of the amount of time that may be put into it to attend the community forum, but to counter this our pamphlet will be available so that people who do not have the time to attend a forum will be able to get some of the same information and a number to call with any questions. To make sure our policy would be beneficial we surveyed neighboring residents and people throughout the community to get their take on the mentally disabled adult home and their opinions on how we could improve the situation.
Appendix A Budget Income: The DePaul Institute Expenses: Pamphlets 200 x $. 11 = 2. 00 Kinkos Speaker sh. 00 DePaul Meeting room sh. 00 Spencerport H. S. Advertisement 3. 60 Suburban News TOTAL 5. 60 Opportunity Costs: The people making the pamphlets and distributing them in the community could be doing other things with their time. Our speaker could be working more with their job then taking time to speak at the forum for us. The meeting room within Spencerport High School could be used for another event. The preparation for the room takes time away from others that could have been pre-occupied with other work.
Many citizens can be caring out daily routines or activities in which they would normally take place, rather than attending this meeting. Also the money that is put towards our event and pamphlets can be used to better the home in any way. 5 Year Budget Our 5-year cost would come to 10. 40 or 5. 60 for the first and 2. 00 for the following years to continue advertising a forum through our pamphlets. The price will remain consent unless the copy rate per page changes. Appendix B Copy/ Benefit Analysis Costs: 5. 60 See Appendix A Benefits: This forum will educate the community as a whole on mentally disabled adults.
Also public awareness will be created throughout the Village of Spencerport so that the DePaul Community Residents can feel a sense a comfort and fit in better without being discriminated against. Through our Service Line the community and DePaul can establish communication and voice their opinions and concerns. This will be a great help when a citizen is doubted by actions of a resident but is not in need of the police. Analysis: For the cost of 5. 60, our forum and Service Line will leave a small debt in DePaul"s budget but will benefit all players.