Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans: Creating a Hostile Enviroment for Vets.

The Home is creating a hostile environment for veterans. 6 Months ago we had a meeting with the new Colonel, who is running Michigan Veterans affairs. He told us that they wanted to make the rooms into 2 man rooms so that we had some space for each of us, and not just a bed, and dresser.

Now that they have shut down the 4th floor in the McKleish building, they are moving geriatric patients up to the Dormitory unit that should not be there. Guys with wheel chairs, power chairs, and guys that need constant supervision. Most Dom Unit rooms are "4 man rooms" with no extra space. Now they are filling the rooms to 3 man level, making a tense environment. Many of the guys do not want to move into their new rooms, as they have no space for personal items.

The Dormitory unit at GRH4V is for people who need minimum nursing care, and who can medicate themselves, and usually do not have Power wheel chairs, or any kind of a wheel chair.

Ever since GRH4V started closing down the 4th floor of the McKleish building, they have been stacking people into rooms. Rooms that might be good for 4 bed ridden people, are barely enough room for 2 ambulatory people. Also, every veteran here was told that they were going to try to make the rooms into 2 man rooms, with extra living space.

Most people on Dom Unit have 10 feet by 10 feet for their bed, Dresser and small table. Some use that space to stack up storage bins, so they have extra clothing or for other personal items. A few have a small desk, and a chair. The chair must be moved out of the way so the person can get to their bed and dresser though. Also they have a closet that is 20 inches across, 22 inches deep and 78 inches (6 foot 6 inches) high. And that is all the room we have. Or about 120 Cubic feet of living space which includes your storage space. There is a central walk way that is about 5 feet wide, and a common sink next to the lockers, and a common toilet room with an additional sink. And this is supposed to be a 4 man room, each having the same amount of space. 120 Feet is not enough, if you ask me.

Now they are moving people from the Nursing units, to the Dom Unit, and we are all ready full, IF they keep to their rule of 2 people to a room. All but 3 rooms on Dom unit have 3 people in them. 2 on 3rd floor, and 1 on 2nd floor. It makes for very tight living (if you can call it living). The guys barely have enough room for clothing, let alone anything else.

Today they moved a Geriatric patient into our room. He has both a wheel chair, and a walker, and there is no room to put them anywhere, except where he or us, have to walk, so why are they putting him on the Dom unit?

Not only that, but the guy is a DRUNK. They put him into a room with 2 non drinkers. We are NOT going to babysit this jerk.

The stupid care givers started nosing around my roommate and I's bed area, looking for something.. I got pissed and threw the curtain back for privacy and told them they had no business looking into my or the other mans area.

The guy got angry for not having any space for his stuff and cussed out 2 nurses and 2 aids. Called them everything but the C word.. He did not want to move. And no one warned him. As it was, my Roommate and I got just 2 hours warning. He is not happy and this leads to a stressful environment.

They have a storage room here for extra stuff, but unless you have a lockable trunk or something that can be locked, anything put in that room is subject to being vandalized or stolen, even though the room is locked and a nurse is required to access it.

We now have 5 people transferred from the other units to this unit. 1 gets lost in a toilet room, another is in a power wheel chair and needs help taking a shower. A 3rd person has had the same clothing on since he came here, (this is another stinker, besides the one already reported here that has had the same stuff on since last September). A 4th person has a walker, but cannot dress himself properly.. yet they are on the Dom unit. They need to be in a nursing care unit.

Guys are starting to think they are going to try to squeeze us Dom guys out. This not good, due to the fact that the state government has determined that we no longer qualify for housing vouchers, even though we are classified as being homeless.

What is going on at the veterans home?! Someone needs to come in here and investigate this place.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Grand Rapids Home For Veterans: Change comming soon?


On 22nd March 2012, Wood TV 8 in Grand Rapids posted this on their website.

Ombudsman for GR Vets Home?

Rep. Pete MacGregor introduced bill

Updated: Thursday, 22 Mar 2012, 5:49 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 22 Mar 2012, 3:16 PM EDT

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) - After numerous complaints by residents of a Grand Rapids veterans home, a state lawmaker wants an ombudsman to listen and help resolve their issues without any fear of retribution.

Rep. Pete MacGregor, the chair of the subcommittee overseeing the Military and Veterans Affairs budget in Michigan, has head the complaints over the 18 months he's held office. The Rockford Republican not only wants the ombudsman, he asked for and received an independent audit of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

The audit results won't be available until 2013.

In recent months, a dispute over privatizing some workers at the vets home led to a lawsuit that is currently in the court of appeals.

MacGregor's bill is weaving its way through the Michigan House of Representatives.


THANK YOU Congressman MacGregor! Maybe there is hope that some positive changes are coming soon.

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans: Stealing from Veterans Update

In a previous posting around August, entitled "Grand Rapids home for Veterans IS Stealing from veterans," I introduced you to Fred.

An update on Fred.

Yesterday, Fred got a cell phone text message from Chase bank where his money was supposed to be.

Fred had attempted to get a checking account with a debit card, and wanted his money moved there so that he could access it..

The result was the court appointed conservator emptied the bank account - and no one knows where that money is now, all 98 thousand plus dollars of it.

"Chase acct ####-#### balance $0.00 as of 03/23/2012 09:39:50 AM EDT was below the $50.00 amount in your Alerts settings."

It now appears, that despite what the judge said in his case, Fred does NOT have access to his money and the Home has successfully taken control of his funds.

I remind you that this money was settlement money, Fred got for being a victim of agent Orange, while serving as a MP in VietNam. It is HIS money and the man cannot get one dime of it, because the home does not like how he was spending it..

Fred was drinking. Yes, he got drunk.. but even in his power chair he never ran over any body, nor backed up into them, or anything like some of the other SOBER people do on a daily basis. Nor was he belligerent, or obnoxious.. sometimes a little loud because he wanted to be heard, but other wise behaved better than a lot of these guys do normally.

Fred would order out, and get pizza, spaghetti dinners, or steaks, or ribs. He also bought a lot of scratch off lottery tickets and of course, his daily half pint of rum. The home did not like how he was spending HIS money. And that is what it all boils down to.. that and his drinking.

Now he is being forced to go thru a detox program. Has ZERO access to his money, and is a prisoner in a veterans "home".

And Fred is just one of many here, that we are discovering, are having the same thing done to them. It seems this place is systematically, and as normal operation policy, stripping veterans of their wealth, or obtaining control of it so that veterans cannot use or access their own money. Reminds me of a cult actually.. but we are finding out this is happening more often than not.

We just had a guy move here last week, and within 4 days the home applied for a state guardian, claiming he was incompetent; he had 14k in his bank account and that is what we think they are really after.

He will be just another victim of this place.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans: Stinky, update part 23

3rd update. The guy changed his clothing, but as of 12 June 2012, he has had the same blue shirt, and newer jeans on. We will see how long he goes before these cloths fall off him from rotting.

2nd update: Easter Miracle, the guys pants were so badly ripped up, (they were so rotting that they literally were falling apart as he wore them), that he finally changed them. Still has not taken a shower in 8 months now, and still has the same red shirt on. It too is now falling apart, as he sleeps in his clothing.

Update on Stinky. After a weeks worth of Inspection by the Federal Veterans Administration Representative, Stinky and his room mate were required to clean up their room. 3 big totes of newspapers were removed from Stinky's bed area, and another 2 totes of clothing were removed from J's area. J also has a mini van parked in the members parking area that is packed with clothing, and I am told by their third roommate, somewhere inside it is a gas can with 3 gallons of gasoline.

This picture was taken at 2 in the after noon on a 80 degree day. The jeans on this guy are starting to rip off of him, because they are so crusty.

Neither the Social services staff nor the medical staff will require this man to change his clothing and to take a shower. Other veterans are now telling him he cannot ride the elevators with them because he reeks so badly.

According to the members guide book, a member is expected to conduct themselves in a socially acceptable manner at all times - this is NOT a socially acceptable standard.

Members are also expected to practice good general hygiene, such as bathing, changing clothes, shaving and keeping well grouped. Hygiene supplies and clothing are available to members.

This man has been violating those rules for over 6 months and the staff has done NOTHING to resolve it.

Current members are now threatening to give this man a "military scrub down".

Final plea's for direct action are being filed, with possible legal action against the home to be taken if they continue to refuse to do anything.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, Crime in progress part 24: False imprisonment

Abuse of Veteran by Guardian and David M. Murkowski, Chief Probate Judge,Kent county probate court, Kent County Michigan, (Grand Rapids, Michigan)

Let me introduce you to Richard W. Richard has M.S. and is in a powered scooter. He came here to the vets home while his home due to a drinking problem. He and his wife filed for "separate maintenance" what ever that is, and was appointed a court guardian/conservator.

Richard has since stopped drinking and has had his home renovated for handicap person access.
He is married and has grown children. And he wants to go home but cannot because he no longer controls his own life due to a court appointed guardian.

But Richard has a guardian appointed by the court (at the request of the Veterans home), that FORBIDS him from attending hearings about him. This same guardian forbids him from visiting with his wife and son, AND from even having phone conversations with them. Richard reports that she sold his car, and that there is large amount of money, 13,000 or so dollars missing from their bank accounts, for which the Guardian reportedly used to hire an attorney to force Richard and Sheryl to get a divorce; which neither wanted.

Today, Monday 12 March 2012, Richard went to court to have the guardian removed. Richards wife showed up and was arrested for missing a previous hearing that she was improperly served, and was held on a 2,000 dollar CASH bond. Such is unheard of for mere contempt of court charges.

Richard is now going to claim false imprisonment, denial of Constitutionally secured rights, and obstruction of his freedom, interference with a contract (his marriage contract). He no longer wants to be at the veterans home, he wants to GO HOME, to his home in Norton Shores where he has lived for the past decade.

He said both Guardian and Judge acted against him, and did not give him any say in his future or his present condition.

He wants to go home. The lawyer for Richard said that today a travesty of justice occurred. How a guardian can forbid a man from seeing and talking to his wife and children is beyond any common sense, yet this is what the judge is allowing to happen.

I just spent an hour talking to a neutral witness to the 4 hour proceedings. Both Richard and his wife Sheryl, had separate attorneys, who represented them.

It is being reported that during the proceedings, Judge Murkowski was reading documents from other cases while testimony was being given. And that when put on the stand to answer questions, Richards wife Sheryl was yelled at by the Judge who raised his voice and told her not to answer questions the way she was. Instead of instructing the lawyer to instruct his client how to answer questions properly the judge instead took out his frustrations on the witness. He later apologized, but I have a feeling that this is normal procedures by this judge. Such actions are very unprofessional in any court room. It is also reported that this judge directly questioned the witness on behalf of the prosecution. I.E. he failed to remain neutral and showed a great deal of prejudice towards Richard.

Also, the neutral witness has told me that when asked why she thought she could do a better job of caring for Richard, Sheryl answered because she loved him. Richard was not allowed to testify, but made a statement: I want to go home because as soon as I get back to the vets home, I will be offered a drink.

There are lots of drunks here at the vets home and NO ONE is offering them any help until they come in stumbling drunk and end up hurting themselves. Only then are they sent to detox, and no other help is offered after they get back.

I am told that when they came to get Richard from the house, Richard had hit rock bottom with his drinking and is now sober. He still loves his wife and wants to get back with her. What is so bad about this? Why does the court think that an institution would be better for Richard? They think so because they do not think Sheryl can handle his finances. And that puts us on the same track as to whats happening to fellow veteran Fred whom I have written about in this blog.
I think we are demonstrating that the veterans home does all it can to obtain control over the finances of its members, so that it can seize the money and use it for what they want. If this is the case here, then they are an accessory to the destruction of the marriage between Richard and Sheryl.

Also, I am told that Sheryl was asked if she would be willing to accept a NEW or DIFFERENT conservator/guardian and she said yes, but the judge ignored that request.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans: Crime in progress part 23, Abuse and Neglect of Veterans,

Ok. This one might to make you cry, or want to vomit..

See this guy on the left? They call him Stinky or Crusty. He has been allowed by the medical and social staff here, to remain in the same clothing for over 5 months.

That is correct. This man has been wearing the same Pants (jeans), shirt, and we presume, the same underwear since before Labor day 2011. He has worn that white jacket since December and doesn't even take it off while eating meals in the dining hall. He frequently is seen sleeping in a chair in one of the day rooms, late at night. And when told he needs to take a shower by other veterans, he just laughs in their face.

It is reported that his bed sheets are as black as the color of this word, and that the cleaning people don't even like to go into his room.

And he is not the only one. One other of his 2 room mates also has a problem.

There are others on the unit too. "R" who lives in the room they call the bat cave, "D" who sleeps all day and stays up all night making coffee in the unit pantry. Then there is the roommate of Popeye and big J, who they have named "reek-in-stien".

Apparently these people are being allowed by the staff to go long periods of time without having to practice a basic level of personal hygiene. And in a building where the ventilation system only recycles the air, you can imagine how bad it is.. we end up smelling these walking Stench bombs.

Something has to be done about these guys who are going MONTHS without having to take a shower or change their clothing. I consider this state of affairs to be abuse of veterans and neglect of the veterans. It is so bad, members here are asking to change the name of the building from Rankin to Reekin.

Since most of the windows in the Ranking building cannot be opened, (they are mechanically blocked up so that members cannot open them without removing the blocks), it is all but impossible for members to get fresh air introduced into the building.

So please if you can, call GRH4V and ask them what is being done about Crusty and those like him..,

Thank you.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Grand Rapids Home for (?!) Veterans: Crime in progress part 22, Harrassment of Fred continues.

On Wednesday, August 17, 2011, I wrote the piece entitled "Grand Rapids Home for Veterans is STEALING from veterans." and introduced you to Fred. Fred lives on 3 North, a unit located on the North side of the 3rd floor of the McKleish building that is in the center of the GRH4V complex.

This place is constantly harassing Fred. When he goes to the store, they stop him and go thru his bags to see what he bought. They go thru his closet and clothes drawers when he is not in his room.

His power wheel chair is in the repair shop, so they gave him a "loaner" to use, then took that away for no reason.

No reason until now. Now they are openly going after his money again under the excuse of trying to get Fred to stop drinking.

Fred drinks. He is a happy drunk. He does not run his power chair into anyone, does not hit the power doors and knock them off track as so many other people do.

Fred's only crime is that he drinks. - And they do not like it, so they took away his power wheel chair.

Now Fred is reporting that the social worker said that although Fred was not a belligerent drunk, did not cause any trouble while drinking, that they wanted him to stop and are now forcing him to go thru a detox program for 30 days AND then start attending AA meetings against his will.

They once again, froze his bank account and access to his money WITHOUT a court order.

All this because they want to control his money, or find a way to have him declared incompetent so that THEY can obtain control of his money.

Fred also told us that he recently got a letter from the Veterans Administration about a claim that he filed in October of 2011. Just one problem: Fred never filed the claim. Someone here at the home filed it on his behalf without his permission.

Fred says he doesn't need to file anymore claims, he has enough money now, and that if that claim goes thru it will only be more money the home takes (steals) from him, so why should he file for it? The same applies for his social security. He does not need it, so he does not file for it and they keep harassing him about filing for it.

I am tired of watching this man get beat up and harassed, and going thru emotional roller coaster rides because this place keeps messing with him.

We need your help. Please call the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, McKleish unit 3 North and ask them why they are harassing Fred.

Fred is also telling us that they told him the he cannot go out and buy a house because he smokes and drinks, and that the law will not allow him to do either in his own home.. Now if that is not evidence that they are harassing this man, I don't know what is.

They also tell him that they cannot find another retirement home for him to go to, because he smokes and drinks.. well I know of several in the area.. and they would gladly take him.