LETTER: Lee County Group Homes Inc. facing dire situation, needs help

Jun. 01, 2013 @ 04:58 AM

To the Editor:

Citizens of Lee County — are you aware that in fewer than 90 days, Lee County Group Homes Inc. will have to close its doors? Are you aware that 11 intellectually disabled adults will be homeless and 10 staff members unemployed? Are you aware there will be two more vacant homes? Are you aware the impact this will have on local agencies and families? Are you aware of what our elected officials are voting to do? Are you aware that we will no longer be able to call home “home”? Are you aware this is ethically and morally wrong?

We bring this to your attention because we need your help. The Senate budget did not provide any funding for people in group homes who lost their Personal Care Service funds. In addition, the Senate budget did not provide funding for people seeking group home placements and no longer qualify for Personal Care Services under the current regulations. This year, group home residents were provided with $39.7 million in emergency funding so we could remain open. However, all of this ends June 30, 2013.

We cannot allow our group homes to become unstable and risk closure. We ask you to call and/or email the people on the House Appropriations Committee this week and next to advocate for continual funding. This is a much-needed service for this population, as well as our community. Together we can make an impact and find solutions to support our people with mental illness and intellectual/developmental disabilities. Please do not let them take our house keys.

On behalf of the residents and staff, we sincerely thank you for your support and assistance. See names and numbers below.

Rep. Nelson Dollar (Wake), senior chair, House Appropriations Committee, (919) 715-0795, Nelson.Dollar@ncleg.net

Rep. Justin Burr (Montgomery, Stanly), chair, House Appropriations Committee, (919) 733-5908. Justin.Burr@ncleg.net

Rep. Marilyn Avila (Wake), chair, House Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, (919) 733-5530. Marilyn.Avila@ncleg.net

Rep. Mark Hollo (Alexander, Wilkes, Yadkin), chair, House Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, (919) 715-8361, Mark.Hollo@ncleg.net

Rep. William Brisson (Bladen, Johnston, Sampson), chair, House Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, (919) 733-5772. William.Brisson@ncleg.net

Mary Bennett

Executive Director

Lee County Group Homes Inc.

Sanford