Thursday, May 2, 2013

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans: Taxpayers paying to much for Dorm Unit Veterans?

Understanding that medical costs, and full time, quality nursing care is expensive, this entry will not go into the cost of having a veteran in a nursing unit at the Veterans home. We have some very highly qualified, and dedicated nursing staff at the home, that work on various specialized units and these people earn their pay the hard way - they work!

No, this post is about the Dormitory unit where Ambulatory veterans are housed.  As described in previous postings, the veterans assigned to Dom unit,  get assigned to one of the average 4 man rooms. There are a few 2 man and a few single man rooms, but the majority of the rooms are 4 people.

The average room has 4 beds, each with an 8x9 foot area for their bed, dresser and small table, separated only by a curtain. These 4 guy share a common toilet room with 1 toilet and a sink,  and the main room also has a sink. There are 4 stand up lockers as well.

Then, ALL the men on the unit, about 50 on each of the 2 floors of the dorm unit, share a common Shower room, 1 to each floor. Each Shower room has 3 showers and a bathtub, and not all are working all of the time. So on Rankin 3 for example, up to 50 guys share 3 showers and a tub.  The only privacy the veteran has, is when their curtain is pulled, and they have about 72 square feet of privacy.

Their medical is paid for. Their 3 meals(?!) a day is paid for, and they get a chance to see the Doctor twice a week. This for the beginning price of 2100.00 per month. Clothing and extra necessities are donated to the home.

There are 3 laundry rooms available in their unit. At the North east end of each floor, by the number 9 service elevator is a laundry room with 1 washer and 1 dryer. On Rankin 2, there is another room with 4 washers and 4 dryers for a total of 6 each for about 100 people. Powered soap is provided. Anything else, the veteran has to provide for him/her self.

Why does this cost so much money, for so little space?  Like mass production the housing costs should be lower, not higher than that of living outside the home.

I will use Bill as our test subject. Bill made 13 dollars an hour and worked 50 hours a week in 2007. Filing single for taxes, he took home 542.00 a week, or about 2100 a month.

Out of his 2100 a month, Bill paid 530 a month for a 2 bedroom, bath and a half, first floor apartment, with garage, that was about 800 square feet. He paid 150 a month for car payment, and provided all his own food, and also had a 200 dollar a month tool bill (for his trade, work related)..  Bill lived alone. He had access to a laundry room at the apartment complex, so had to pay 1.50 per wash load, and 1.75 per dryer load. Bill figures he spend about 50 bucks per month on washing cloths and getting soap, softeners, etc..

Bill also paid electric, cable TV, Cable Internet,  Land line telephone, and a utility fee to cover garbage removal and grounds maintenance of the apartment complex where he was.

And at the end of the month, he always had money in his pocket for other things.

Now why does the home charge so much for so little space, and for substandard meals for people in the Dom unit? They don't even provide clothing for the veterans - Bill paid for his own out of his 2100 take home pay. Clothing for veterans in Dom unit are donated items.

Seems to me that Michigan taxpayers are paying way way more than the should be, for what little service the veterans of Dom unit, get.  And the veterans themselves, if they have a pension or are on Disability, also are paying way more than they should have to.

Governor Snyder wants to cut costs at the home. Nothing wrong with that. But it should not be costing dorm unit guys 2100 a month for what they get.

Social security disability pays 1200 a month, retires on SS get about the same. Why does that government expect you to live on 1200 and yet the home charges 2100?

Now I just learned that some guys in Nursing units get charged as much as 24,000 a month! OMFG, you gotta be kidding me. That is a crime in progress.. 24 THOUSAND a month for nursing care?  what are they using, gold plated toilet paper?

Someone is milking the veterans.. They are being over charged, and not getting services they should be getting..This is nothing short of a criminal act of stealing from our veterans. It needs to be looked into.

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