Monday, May 14, 2012

Why I want OUT of this place.

In the State of Michigan, if you are a honorably discharged veteran, with no job and no income, and no home, you might be qualified to come and stay at the Michigan Veterans Home. If you qualify, the Michigan Veterans Trust will pay this place a fee, to help pay the cost of your stay here. And the Federal Veterans Administration will also chip in a few duckets to help. If you are ambulatory, that is you can walk around without help, and can take your own medications if prescribed, you can be assigned to the Dormitory unit, called the Dom unit at the cost of 3,100.00 per month.

For this 2,100 per month, you will receive a closet that is 22 inches across, by 24 inches deep, by 6 feet high that contains 1 upper shelf with a rod hanging below it to hang your clothing on, and a lower shelf. You will get 80 to 100 square feet of living space for your bed, depending on which room you are in. Meaning 8x10 or 10x10 feet where your bed, dresser and small night table will be. You will have about 2.5 feet between the dresser and your bed. And your bed will be 1 of 4 in a room that has 1 sink in it, and a toilet room with an additional sink. You will have from 1 to 3 roommates depending on the time of year. You will also have access to laundry units on the 2nd and 3rd floors where you are expected to do your own laundry minus the linen and shower towels.

The air conditioning system which is filled with asbestos, runs cold from May 1st to October 1st, when it switches to heat. The air system recycles every ones body odor and does not introduce any new fresh air. In the winter time, Humidity levels drop to less than 15 percent and you can expect to wake up with cracked bleeding sinuses. And if you even think about opening up a window to let fresh air in, the windows contain blocks in their tracks to prevent members from opening the windows. Most members remove the blocks making it possible to access the windows. Then you have to deal with the Steel window blinds that probably contain lead based paint. Most have never been cleaned, nor have the windows themselves been cleaned unless the members themselves attempt it.

In addition to this, you get 2 nurses working various 8 hour shifts thru out the week, with one shift on the weekend. And you get to see the doctor for sick call on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You also get free run of the entire facility, access to a small pantry where coffee, a microwave oven, and a refrigerator where other members will steal the food you leave in it. You also get access to 3 meals a day down in the main dining hall in the McKleish building which is the center of the 3 that make up this facility.

There is a members council that meets once a month, but it is nothing more than a glorified gripe session, with the staff doing NOTHING about any of the complaints.  Veterans have NO voice here.

Now your meals will vary somewhat, but not much. Each breakfast menu is the same for that day every week. So what you get on Monday, you will always get on Monday. Same for the rest of the days of the week. Most meals will be served at room temperature, sometimes on plates that are preheated, and served in an insulated cover. Most food is processed, has high salt content, and comes precooked so all they have to do is re-heat it properly, which they rarely do.

Lunch is the main meal of the day, with supper being the smallest and easiest to make. Soup and a salad or Soup and a sandwich is a normal combination for supper.

On Holidays and special occasions they will actually cook something special for everyone. And it will be served hot.  Most meals are full of useless calories, and lots of carbohydrates. If you are not a diabetic, you stand a good chance of becoming one if you are here long enough. You like ice cream? You will get a lot of it here.

And if you have any money or assets, they take them from you leaving you broke.A person already getting Social Security disability or service connected disability, or any kind of pension, will have their checks taken, and will be given 100.00 per month to use as they see fit. Non income people will be given 20 dollars per month, or 5 bucks a week.  A person who is sent to a Nursing unit, who has assets will have those taken from them when the home uses the State's guardian laws to assign a guardian or conservator to take control of the persons assets. From that point on, the veteran has no say in where his money goes, or what it is used for. The state appointed guardian or conservator is the only one who can decide - and most of the time they fail to inform the veteran. This is a systematic function of the home. Standard operating procedure number 3 on their list.

For people who come here and apply for Disability or such, and have a waiting time, and whom get "back pay", the home will seize the back pay paycheck, and give you the veteran 100 bucks of it. So if your back pay is 500 per month and you get 17 months of back pay, your check of 8,500 will be seized and you will get 100 dollars of it and they will take the rest. We have no idea what they do with it as it does not go back to the Michigan's veterans trust fund. We have tried to find out and no answer has been forth coming.

While I do appreciate what the Michigan Veterans Trust has done for me, and that I had a warm place to sleep instead of living on the street, I do not like the way this place is being run  under Sara Dunne. This is supposed to be a HOME for veterans, not a warehouse.

I have a Social security disability hearing soon, and I do not want this place to steal my back pay. Nor do I want to continue paying for something that should cost less than 2000 per month. And I want my meals served HOT, fully cooked. Not what we have here.

Is it any wonder I am trying to get the H out of here?!!

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