Thursday, May 31, 2012

Setting the record straight.

Let me make it perfectly clear. THIS blog is about getting changes made to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans that will benefit ALL veterans, now and in the future. It is here to bring to light issues that are not being given the attention due to them.

While this blog may read as being a bit opinionated, its intention is to report and reflect the truth, even if that truth depends on ones own perspective of a given situation.

Let me make it perfectly clear, that this Veteran and many more appreciate what the people of Michigan have done for us, by giving this place to call our home, even if it no longer functions as a home. For giving us some health care, even if this place is no hospital. The Homeless veterans in Rankin Dormitory unit who have the cost of their stay paid in part by the Michigan Veterans Trust fund, openly thank the people of Michigan for their gift which allows these veterans to have a warm place to sleep.

However, that aside, let us get to the real meat of the situation. The fact is, this place is costing both veterans and the Michigan taxpayers more than it should.

After 10 years of Recession, during which the 8 years of the Granholm government continuously raised taxes on a dwindling population, and dwindling work force, this state is in financial crisis. All of us, both taxpayer, and state workers, need to do more with less. The taxpayer needs to get a bigger bang for his/her tax dollar, and the state workers need to get more done with a tax dollar.,

Case in point, Rankin Dormitory unit. Cost: 3,100.00 per month plus medical prescriptions. If the member of the Dom unit (as it is called) is classified as a homeless vet with no income, the home applies for medicaid. This pays for prescriptions.

Most vets in Dom unit have a 7 foot by 8 foot area for a bed, dresser and small table, and also have access to a small closet that is about 2 foot square by 6 foot high.

Considering that 100 dollars per week is a good food budget for 400.00 a month.
A local apartment complex rents a 800 sq foot 2 bedroom apartment for 600 a month, at a cost of about 75 cents per square foot. So, using that as an example, the 7x8 foot bed area should cost our veteran about 42 dollars.

The toilet room is communal, as the veterans are in 4 man rooms, the toilet room being about 7x7 or 49 sq foot, and there is 1 shower room per floor, with 4 showers, used by all members on that floor,. Add another 49sq. There are common day rooms, 2 each on each floor shared by members, and all Dom unit people have to go down to the main dining hall to have meals, none are served on unit.
Using our apartment as an example, and dividing the cost of the common areas by 4, we have 98 sq feet of common area, and 56 sq ft of personal area.  The common areas should only cost about 18.50 per month.

Therefore 400 for food, 42 dollars for personal area, and 18.50 for common areas, leaves 460.50 for the cost of being here. The members get to see a doctor twice a week, but most do not. and there are 2, full time nurses that work full 8 hour shifts. So if the cost of space and meals is only 460, how can the home justify the remaining 2,639.50? Is that what members pay for medication that is supposed to be covered by medicaid?

Seems a bit pricy to me. A person can live at the apartment complex for 600 dollars a month for a 2 bedroom, bath and a half, 800 sq foot apartment, heat included. Add their food bill of 400 a month, and you have 1000. Add electric bill of 45, Phone of 45, cable TV of 60, and their costs is still less than 1200.00.
3100 - 1200 is 1900 dollars. A person could make a new car payment of 500s and still have 1400 left to help pay medical expenses.

This is why we say that this place is costing taxpayers too much.. it should not cost anyone more than 1200 or so to live in the Dom unit, plus medical which for most of us, is covered by medicare.

Give us the 2100 tax free, and save taxpayers 1000 a month and we will live like a king and save taxpayers money. Give the home 3100, and they waste it.

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