Friday, June 28, 2013

State Democrats calling for investigation of quality of care for veterans.

After being escorted out of the building last Friday, Michigan 76th district congressional representative Winnie Brinks and 3 others held a press conference across the street from the veterans home, on the lawn of Riverside park.

The democrats are calling for an investigation of the quality of care being given to the veterans.
Quality of care is more than just workers helping veterans. Quality of care for all veterans includes the over all mental and physical well being of the veteran and includes the living conditions the veterans have to endure every day.

The over all quality of care has changed over the last year, due to  the state privatizing the health care givers group of workers who work in the nursing units helping the nursing staff provide proper care for veterans. These people are the ones that change diapers, give baths and showers to veterans, help disabled veterans get dressed, and move them from their beds, to their power wheel chairs. They take them (move them) to various locations thru out the home. And they help feed them when necessary, amongst other jobs.

Problems were going to happen, due to change over. Problems were expected. However, how those problems are being handled is why there is a call for an investigation.

Senior Military staff from the Michigan Department of Veterans affairs office, came to the home and held special meetings with both staff and members and told us all, that the J2S workers would be held to the highest standard.

Its the holding to that higher standard that is now being questioned, and why they are calling for an investigation.

This is not about union verses non union workers, although the union representing the dismissed health care workers is involved in calling for the investigation.  The union still represents care givers at the other Michigan veterans facility located in the Upper Peninsula, at Marquette Michigan.

The call for the investigation needs to go deeper than just quality of care being given by the J2S workers, and to determine if that higher standard, is being imposed.

An over all investigation of the administration of the home needs to be executed by an independant auditing firm, who should look at a number of items. Items such as cost of care at the home verses a similar private retirement/hospital community. Items such as what percentage of the issues raised by veterans are being properly addressed. Items such as the high discharge of veterans for what ever reasons. Items such as are veterans being charged for services they are not getting, and is the fee for the services they are, comparable to those in the private sector. This is for both Nursing and Dormitory units.

An over all investigation as to the status of the Dormitory unit, its function, its costs, should also be made. Is the home meeting the needs of those veterans who end up in Dorm unit? Or is the home just using them as a source of revenue?

The Administrator of the Veterans Home, Sara Dunne, whose last job was the head of the Kitchens before being promoted to the top administrator job after she was given time to obtain her necessary college degree, has stated that the home is dealing with the problems that are occurring.  If so does she give the impression that she is she afraid when members of the state congress show up unannounced to talk to veterans?

And why was 76th district Representative Winnie Brinks escorted out of the building after talking to one member in private, without any staff present?  What is Sara Dunne and her staff hiding? The actions of that day give the impression that the homes administration have something to hide from the state congress.

Either way you look at it, there is a need for a further, more in depth look at what is happening at the veterans home, and how it effects the veterans, as well as Michigan tax payers.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Vets home denys due process yet again to veteran; Standard operating procedure?

Thursday 27 June 2013. Simple mistake of overlooking, or is the Grand Rapids home for veterans denying yet another veteran his rights to proper due process?

This is something that is becoming a standard operational procedure at the home.

On 6 June 2012, in the hall just outside her office,  Veteran Greg M.  personally handed Acting head administrator Sara Dunne a brown envelope containing his 2nd appeal of his discharge. He wanted  to present his case to the next board of managers meeting. That meeting was today. And he was not informed of any of it.

Mistake or intentional?

Lets take a good look at the real record of the Veterans home for "denial of due process"

1. When the veteran arrives he does not get a copy of his application contract. So he is not informed properly, and fully of what he is accountable for.   Withholding such information can invalidate the contract, and can be seen as a constructed fraud. This can be taken as denial of civil process.

2. Not being told that although that person might not be able to pay for cost of care, the state veterans trust will, but that the veteran could be held liable later in life, can be seen as denial of due process.

3. Not having a voice in how their money is being spent, is denial of due process.

4. Not giving each man a statement of their cost of care each month, should be seen as denial of due process.

5.The home claiming that they have talked with a veteran on several occasions, prior to discharge, when no such conversations took place, and before the veteran is discharged, could be seen as denial of due process.

6. Being refused access, to address the board of managers, so that a veteran can file an appeal, or discuss an unresolved issue, can be seen as a denial of due process.

Yes, I think we have shown, that denial of due process, civil or otherwise, is standard operating procedure at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

Monday, June 24, 2013

GR Home for Veterans: Failure to provide services being charged for.

In 2010, the Dom Unit had 24/7 nursing. One person at all times on duty. Since then, the number has been reduced to at best, 2 per day M-F  and in reality, 1/2.  Some times they get a nurse the comes up at the medication hand out time, and does the disbursing of renewed prescriptions, then leaves  - and that is the only time of the day that the guys on Dom even see a nurse that day.

Yet they are still being charged for 24/7 nursing care as part of their COC (Cost of Care).

This is fraud. The amount of money being charged to veterans is wrong, the amount of money being charged to the state is wrong. Both are being cheated.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Referance page: Leaving GRH4V, getting back on your feet in the real world.

Grand Rapids Home for veterans is in violation of the federal laws, and may be the state laws too, as it is supposed to provide veterans with information on obtaining housing, and how to sign up for programs that would allow them, or to help them leave the veterans home and rejoin society.

This is not happening at all.  So this post is dedicated to telling the guys how to do so, and giving them information so that they can.

Get this part thru your head ASAP: THERE IS NO HELP for you. They will do NOTHING unless you make it happen.
  Your best chance of success is if you take a roommate with you.  Some one both of you can live with for 2 or 3 years while your HUD VASH becomes available.

In a state that has lost 33 million people over the last 10 years, its hard to figure out how we have a housing shortage - we do not, we have a pricing problem. And that problem is not going away.

First. If you want help, you must be a resident of the county where you will be living at. If that county is not Kent (Grand Rapids), then you need to establish residency in your county of choice.

Having a mailing address or point of contact means nothing to these people, except that they will use that as your proof of residency. In other words if you are a Veteran member whose family is in Macosta county (Big Rapids), and you want to return there, you will need a mailing address (PO box will NOT work) in that county. You then contact the counties DHS and HUD offices. They may even have a veterans outreach clinic, as Kent county does.

Now the veterans in GRH4V got screwed. Someone decided that since they have 3 hots and a Cot, that they were not homeless, yet the home classifies many or most in Dom unit, as homeless. And the US Post office does not recognize the homes address to be a valid residency address.  The  US post office does NOT deliver mail to the home! So you cannot use that address as a valid address to establish residency.

Now, get the following documents, and have them ready - you will need them.
A. Original DD214  or certified copy.
B. Birth Certificate or certified copy
C. Social Security card.
D. Photo ID.  State issued ID, State Drivers license, and your VA card will work.
E. Income verification.
     If you have any kind of money coming in from a pension, or Social security or what ever, you need income verification sheet showing them  how much you get. If you get food stamps or any kind of assistance from Michigan Dept of Human Services (DHS) You must get verification from them as well.

Have those documents ready.

Now, for Kent county you go down to the Veterans outreach center located on 620 Century Ave. That's the road right next to the express way on the west side of it. The building is located 1 block  north of the Franklin street exit.

Go in there and tell them what you need - housing assistance, etc. They will get you started. Mention you want HUD VASH program for veterans, or housing based on income, and they will have you Talk to one of 2 people and you will need those documents above.

They may have you go to the Salvation army Booth family services office, on 1120 Monroe. This building is located on the east side of Monroe, just south of Leonard street, right across from the city worker office which is on the west side of the street.

Here they will have you prove residency. Now I've been here several times and so far, got nothing out of them other than a listing of rentals that I could have gotten off the internet.  And I had to change my point of contact from my sisters house in Allegan county, to a friends house in Kent county.

If you do not have anyone in Kent county, there are 2 locations downtown where you can go and get an "address" to use. They will give you a mail box. Ask about this at the Vet center on Century.

KENT CO VETERANS HELP CENTER. And  Kent county HUD, are both located at 82 Ionia. If you drive there, Ionia is a one way street. You can park in the city lot just 1 block south of the building, for 1 hour for free, 1 dollar each half hour after that,  with a 14 dollar max charge.

82 Ionia is on the other side of the street, and has government security check, so do not take any knives or any kind of weapons, explosives, etc.. My Bic lighter and smokes went thru ok. You will go thru a scanner, etc..

3rd floor is both Veterans and HUD offices (they are across the hall from each other).

The veterans help is a 1 shot deal. They need your ORIGINAL or certified copy of the DD214.
Some guys they can help, others they cannot. They are NOT the VA. So if you where a "peace time" veteran who gets VA help, do not be surprised if these guys cannot help you.  It does not hurt to try to get some kind of help from them. They can help with first months rent, or deposit or moving expenses or paying utility bills etc.. check them out.

The HUD is for the VASH or section 8 system and they will send you back to talk to one of the Ladies at the Vets outreach center on Century Ave.

As for subsidized housing, I have no idea.. more on this later.

Update #1.

Renting apartments. Most apartment complexes have an income formula, that determines if you qualify to rent there. The formula is  Rent due x a given number. Sometimes that its 2.2, 2.5,  but the average is 3 times the rent due.

This effectively prevents most disabled veterans who get basic Disability from being able to rent even a small 1 b4edroom apartment.

Most 1 bedroom apartments in the GR area run from 500 to 600 dollars a month. And most SSDI (social security disability income) payments are 1262 on average at current time.

So a veteran almost absolutely needs to be part of a section 8 HUD program, or income based rent program, to be able to get a place of their own.

At a time in Michigan's economy where the state has lost over 32 million people in the last 10 years, there should not be a housing SHORTAGE, but that is what it appears to be in the Grand Rapids area.

Hay Rides Cancled for July veterans Carnival.

It is being reported to me, that the hay rides, and pony rides, which have been part of the Veterans Carnival very July have been canceled due to the fact that the bridge between the Veterans Cemetery and the home, has been closed down to all but pedestrian traffic.

I guess just taking a hay ride around the building, is too much for some people and the horses may not be able to take the speed bumps.

Anyways that is what is being reported.. yet another thing taken away from veterans.

News Flash: GRH4V refusing anymore Federal VA money?

2 people so far have called me about this subject.

1 said that he got a bill for physical therapy, that should have been sent to the VA. When he inquired, he was told that they were not accepting anymore VA money. Now it was not clear if they meant just the PT department, or the whole Facility.  

We are trying to find out more.

The other person told me that he is now being billed for things the VA is supposed to be covering, and that he is looking into it.  The home took money out of his bank account without his permission for something that should have been paid for by the VA.

More information on this as it becomes available.

Update: This was told to ONE person. For what reason, we can only assume it was for harassment. 
This person's wife called Jim Dunn, and asked him if it was true and he said no and would look into it.

We will see what if anything Jim Dunn gets accomplished.

American Legion, Auxliary poppy program gets new leader at the home.

The Veterans of the Dorm unit have for years, been the source of the red poppy flowers sold each memorial day and veterans day by the American legion Auxiliary.

For the last 8 years or so, Jim has been running the program, which was located in one of the garages over by the parking lot and where the bike shop is.

Recently Jim has decided to retire and Tadd has taken over as leader of the project. And the poppy room has moved from the garage to one of the empty rooms on Rankin 2.

GRH4V vets produce over 20 thousand poppies each month, and sell them to AL posts all over the world.

Is the Veterans home Defrauding the Veterans and the State?

Follow the money. A closer look at the funding of the dorm unit at GRH4V.

This is a floor plan of Rankin 3. It shows approximately 70 beds available. Rankin2, also part of this unit, has about the same number of guys. So lets say for this article it is the same. 70 that means 140 beds available for "homeless" or ambulatory veterans. 

Now we know from talking to the guys, that they are never told when they arrive, what their COS (Cost of Care) will be. And we also know that the average is about 2100 per month and some pay a lot more than that. We are going to use 2100 as our standard for this posting.

Now 3 things come to mind. At 140 maximum capacity, charging 2100 a month the home gets about 294,000 a month, or 3,528,000 a year. Now we know there are not 140 guys in the unit at this time. More like about 60. So that means its 126,000 per month or 1,512,000 per year for both floors. That is a lot of money to cover the cost of 72 sq feet of privacy and about another 350 Sq feet of shared living space for each man. Especially in light of the fact that a modest 1 bedroom 600 sq foot apartment in this area will run you about 550 a month, or 800 with all utilities included.

Seem to me the it would be cheaper for the veterans to be on the outside.  But wait, isn't that why they are here? Because they are financially broke and have no income? Even so why are they being charged more to be here, where they have less privacy and less private space to live in, than the outside? Seems to me it should be just the opposite, it should be CHEAPER, lest costly to live at the veterans home.

I know for a fact, that of the 60, 40 are present still who were being charged for full time nursing staff. That is they had a nurse on duty 24/7, running 3 shifts. Today they are down to 2 nurses, with one out on medical leave, and the other only there part time. Yet these men are still being charged the full 2100 a month to be at the home.

Isn't that fraud? Charging the state (or the men) for services not being rendered? And isn't that fraud against the men who have incomes, that are paying all but 100 dollars per month towards their cost of care?

This does not include the nursing unit on the first floor. Rankin 1, is a fully staffed nursing unit. Although the rooms are of similar size, I do not believe they put 4 guys to a room. I am going to look into that next time I go over there.

Nursing unit charges depends on the individual needs. Even so, some of those guys are paying outrageous fees to be at the home. I am told the highest cost is over 3700 a month. 

The fact is, is that the Cost of Care being charged to veterans needs to be looked at closely.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Fathers Day at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans; Guest editorial.

I enjoyed a wonderful visit with my husband today.  I also had a chance to visit with other veterans who weren't so fortunate to have family that cared enough to visit their loved ones.  That is another subject for another time.
It was late afternoon with a light breeze as my husband and I shared a light supper.  We were eating outside and everything was going very well until I could smell something atrocious.  I looked around and couldn't believe what I saw.  The pictures say it all. 
How could a home for veterans, a nursing home for many, expect veterans to enjoy fresh air with open bags of garbage around their area.  The flies were everywhere.  I can just imagine the raccoons once the sun sets.  This is very unhealthy for our veterans.  Don't you agree?

It is now, very clear to me why the administration of the home doesn't want anybody taking pictures.  

Contributed by one of the wives of one of the veterans. 

Ed's note. There are no grounds staff on duty on weekends, to clean up the pavilion area, in case there is a big cook out or party held out there.

Living Waters Migrant Ministries holds Festia at Veterans home.

Living Water Migrant Ministry was founded in 2000 by David Guevara. David felt called to go into the migrant camps in the Fennville, Michigan area to spread the Word. With this being such a large task, he approached others for help but received little response. But being driven to help those in need within the migrant community, David continued with his project and today both he and his wife, Mary, connect with the workers of eight migrant camps. The two provide food, clothing, toys, shoes and appliances to those in need.

On Saturday, this group came to the Veterans home and held a Fiesta  for the veterans out on the Kozy Corners Pavlovian.

Several veterans have contacted me and asked me to write a blog entry,  to say Thank you to the Living Water Migrant Ministry for their hard work and donation to the Vets home.

Thank you!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Help for homeless veterans on line: yeah right, Spam overload, little if any help.

Both Mac and I have spent the last several days on line looking for help for homeless veterans or veterans with low income, (due to disability or what ever,) or those with a limited income.

Lots of pages are there, who CLAIM to help veterans, but in fact, are nothing but Spam Generators.

I suggest to each veteran, who decides to go online to look for help, first establish a new spam email address, that they will eliminate once they get settled in at a new home.
Something like  (name) or something like that. And use that email address for these websites only.

One website, claims to be helping families with low income, but is in fact, a spam site designed to offer you things you simply do not need: education assistance, job assistance, and ultimately, they want you to pay for a credit check service you don't need.

Still others like  say they will help you with a HUD application, show you 30 some offers of stuff you need no help with, want you to check your credit, and in the end they give you a HUD form and tell you to contact the local office (which they do not show or have any information about).

Another spam site is that claims  that USF specializes in helping families get approved for alternate funding and affordable housing programs. yeah right. This is a SPAM site.

Im going to set up a new email account just for this search and find out how many spam messages are generated by these websites.

Its bad enough the veterans are trying to find information, without having to wade thru thousands of pages of garbage.

This will be updated as information becomes available.

This is Veteran Neglect and can turn into abuse.

So I am outside on the pavilion by cozy corners. It's a cloudy bad day of about 67 degrees.
Its 8:30 am and I have a lot of paperwork to do, so I get started. And I am looking to talk to a few of the Dorm unit guys.

I'm basically wasting time there until my VA appointment at the clinic, later that afternoon. And I have LOTS of friends stopping by to say hello, despite what Senior administrative staff members have told others about me.

So its 9am and someone brings this guy down from a unit and parks him by one of the posts that uphold the roof of the pavilion. They make sure he is comfy and then return to their floor to do other things. The old guy is smiling ' cause he is out side. A few other guys in wheel chairs come over and talk to him..

2 hours later, no one has come to check on him. J and I are talking. J goes over to help him as he appears to be needing help. Hes wet himself.

So J take him to his unit, and I go along to finish my conversation with J, and besides, I needed to stretch my legs.

When we get him to his unit, J takes him to the nursing station where there are 3 people sitting there doing nothing of importance.. J tells them the man has had an accident an needs attention, specifically that he wet himself.  Only he did so more directly than what I am saying here.

We walked back to the elevator and turned to wait for it. J noticed not one of the 3 people had gotten up to help the guy, so he went back and this time, forcefully told them that the guy needed help and why. They all jumped with a start, because J used his military voice that time. If he had not, the poor man might have sat there for another half hour or more before getting help.

That is neglect. If it happens more often, its abuse.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Vets home gets full time service Rep.

As the direct results of the states Audit of the veterans home a Full time Service Representative has been hired and out to work  Rich Strobb, member of the DAV, used to do it part time on Mondays.

Now the veterans have a full time position that should allow them to help them with their claims against the government.

Stinky update 2013

2012 update

Forced to take a shower

Update 2013

Well, hes back to normal.. not taking showers, waiting for his clothing to ROT off his body.

 2 showers in 2 years.

Now were is the medical staff and why aren't they doing their jobs?

Helping Homeless and low income Vets find affordable housing?

Its a joke, and a bad one at that.  This post will be updated from time to time, over the next 3 weeks, as I use it to tell you about the search for proper housing by 3 veterans - 1 discharged from the home and living on the street, and 2 others at the home that are trying to find something better. All 3 have either Social security Disability or some kind of disability pension or income, coming in. All 3 are close to, but not quite, at the retirement age where they can move into a retirement community. Untill then, they need to find proper and affordable housing.

It is bad enough when you are told you are 100 percent disabled by social security, and that you will not be going back to work at all - then you find out they don't even give you 100 percent disability payment, but instead give you the standard 1200 a month.You could get 2400 a month.

All 3 guys will continue to get their health care done at the VA clinic, currently located next to the veterans home, and in 2015, will be moved to the new location near metro hospital in Wyoming.

So all 3 will want easy access to the clinic, no matter where it is. And unless they own a car, that means they will have to live within city limits to be able to use the bus system.

Due recent changes in the laws, the "Homeless veterans" staying at the GR Vets home, were no longer eligible to get section 8 housing vouchers because as one politician said, "they have a warm bed to sleep in."  This one act, closed the door on helping a lot of veterans get back on their feet and back into a society that keeps saying it wants to help veterans.

Well lets first take a look at Alvin. He is a single dad that gets to see his kids once a month. He left the home and within 2 weeks, had section 8 voucher and is now living in an apartment off of 4 mile and Alpine in GR, so I am told. Next time I see him, I will get more details and update this.

Next lets take a look at Bob. Bob is just starting his search as he is looking to leave the vets home soon. Today he is going down to the VA housing assistance office on Ionia street. He is going to contact me and tell me how it went and what he is expected to do. I will update this as well as information becomes available.

Now lets take a look at Greg's search and what he calls a nightmare. Greg left the home last year and has been bouncing around staying at friends houses, relatives houses, where ever he can get a place to sleep for a few days. He uses  his sisters address as a contact point, but maintains his own cell phone which is local calling to GR. His sister lives in another county. Not Kent county which is where Grand Rapids is located.

So Greg went to the Veterans outreach clinic on Century Ave, and talked to them. They sent him to the City housing place, which is run by the salvation army, at 1120 Monroe. This is just south of Leonard.  They hold in person interviews M,W, F, from 1 to 4pm. He did not get a satisfactory answer the first time he went on a Friday so he returned the next Monday. There he was informed about his address situation, and non verifiable residence status because of the address on his drivers license being in another county.

Then he returned on Wednesday having gotten permission from a friend who lives in the metro area, to use his mailing address. But again, was told that they were not sure they could help him because he told them that he would be staying at that address for 2 weeks while he helped them finish a basement.

They gave him a card, and had him call Linda, a specialist. He called the next day and got her answering machine. he called on Friday morning at 8:40am and Lynn picked up the phone. After talking to her for 5 min's she said she would leave some information up for him at the front desk and he could pick it up any time. It was 12 pages of rentals mostly homes. Nothing about getting into Rent controlled places, or a section 8 place.

He feels as of it was a total waste of his time. So hes waiting to hear from the other 2 guys as to how it went for them.  And his time is running out. He has to be out of his sis's house by months end so reconstruction can begin.

He never got to community re builders.. he will try that next. and the VA housing help.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Homeless veteran is put thru the hoops, trying to get housing in a system that is ran by idiots.

Dave got kicked out of the veterans home in November. Since then hes been staying with friends.Few days here, few days there, a week with relatives, etc..  But not any place of his own. Hes living out of 3plastic totes he carries with him in his car.

Dave uses his uncles address as a "contact point", since he got laid off from his job of 12 years, in 2009.  Just one problem with that. It is in Big Rapids, another county. Not Kent county (Grand Rapids) where the veterans clinic is.

Even though Dave is there, in Kent county, and his cell phone is the same area, because his drivers license says another county, the local homeless system will not help him.

Dave is a veteran, disabled after leaving service. At age 55 he can join a retirement community as an independent living person. but until he reaches 55, he is stuck out in the regular population and he has 6 more years to go.

His Social security payment is less than 1200 a month, and that means Dave lives below the poverty line for a single person.

Dave wants to be near to the VA Clinic where he gets his health care, and not in some town 80 miles away.

So Dave went to the Homeless veterans center over on Century Ave. And they sent him to the Salvation army housing assistance office, in the city building on Monroe. They do in person interviews there MWF from 1 to 4pm.

The first time he went there, they had a problem with his address being in Big Rapids, but that they might be able to work around it. The 2nd time he went there, they said he absolutely had to have a GR or Kent county address.

So he got a friend who lives in a suburb of Grand Rapids, to let him use his address.

Next Dave went back and told them (and verified) that he had an address in Kent county.  Now the place has yet another problem

Dave is staying with friends for 2 weeks, helping them finish a basement. because of that, this place does not consider him to be homeless!

He has to call someone named Lynn at the Salvation Army Booth family srevice office, and she supposed to be an expert on these kinds of cases.

How hard is this? He has NO HOME. he is HOMELESS. He needs low income housing for about 6 years so he can get into a retirement home.  Its not that difficult but the idiots running the program over there, that uses taxpayer dollars, are making it difficult.

GR home for veterans; Guardian laws take away rights of Wives and family members of Veterans.

 GR home for veterans; Wife of Veteran with a guardian: You have no right to know why your husband is Not here and why he is in the hospital.

This lady is extremely angry right now.

Cheryl Ware is getting decisively angry at the veterans home, Synthia Thornbury and Michigan Family Judge Murkowski.

On Friday her husband was taken from the home and put in the hospital for some unknown reason. Cheryl, the wife of the veteran, was never notified. Only because her husband calls at the same time every day, did she know something was wrong.

When she called the nurses station on the Unit called 3 South, no one would tell her what hospital and why her husband Richard was sent there.

She asked where Richard was and they told her to call his guardian. She asked if he was there and they said he was not.

Then 2 hours later, he was tracked down at a local hospital by his son. The guardian has so far, refused to return the wife's calls.

Under Kent county (Grand Rapids) guardian laws, the guardian has 2 weeks to notify family of the passing of a veteran. But if the veteran is in critical condition at a local hospital, the guardian doesn't have to notify anyone.

In this case, the wife believes she should  have been notified the moment her husband - veteran was moved from the home to the hospital. 

New care givers better than state ones in some ways?

I've been hearing of shortages of care givers on shifts. 2 people on a unit of 40 men, is not enough and its happening a lot. Also lack of proper training.

But today I hear something positive from 3 of the volunteers that I have come to know at the home.

M reported to me, that 2 guys he thought were dead, all of a sudden showed up at the Kozy Corner Pavilion area. Both told him that while they got outside once in a while, no one would bring them down to Kozy Corners.. well one of the new care givers did.  They were very happy as they were seeing old friends who would not wonder down to their end of the complex.

J reported one Saturday he was coming in thru the kozy corners entrance and he saw a guy in one of those big wheel chairs, out in the sun, enjoying it, but tears streaming down his face. When he asked why, the vet replied, "cause it was the first time in 6 months he had been outside".  He was so happy to be there.

So despite some of the problems, these new care givers are showing compassion and care for the vets and gettin' these guys outside and into fresh air.. and that is good thing.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thank you Home Depot.

The guys are telling me that Home Depot came and presented the 2nd place winners check to the home, in their Aprons contest, and that they put on a very good picnic for the guys.

The guys wanted me to post their thanks to Home Depot for it.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Dear Michigan Taxpayer;

No one likes a thief. Yet it seems we have one or more at the Grand Rapids Home for veterans. More and more I am seeing veterans being charged for services they are not getting. And if the Veteran cannot pay their bill in full, the Michigan Taxpayers end up footing the bill.  This is your tax dollars being wasted at a time when we cannot afford to do so.

During a recent series of visits to the home, I had no less than 12 guys, from 5 different units all come up to me and report the same thing. They did this because they know I write this blog.

Apparently, there was a supper where Chicken Salad sandwich was the main item. And they didn't even get a full one - they got half of one.

I remind you, that charging for a service and not delivering it is a Felony called FRAUD. And there is no statute of limitations for fraud.

And this is not the only skimping of meals we have seen. It is just getting worse.

I remind you of the blog articles about other meal problems:

Out dated Tarter Sauce - Yech!

They call this vegetable beef soup.

Sloppy Joe's with beans, that no one wants.

This is a steak?!!

Sandwich and room temperature soup.

It is supposed to be New York Strip Steak.


Salad for supper?

When the Federal VA representative came thru the home in the summer of 2012, one of the biggest complaint of 3 that he addressed, was the food. And its not changed for the better, but rather has gotten worse.

And we have nurses that say the guys in PRISON eat better than our veterans. SHAME ON US.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, Breach of Contract, failure to provide services charged for?

Blogger Z left this comment on another post, but I think it needs to be seen by everyone as he brings up a valid point.  The Dorm unit people are being charged for services they are not getting. This is wasting taxpayer (and if the veteran has a pension or other income, their own) money.

If it is a breach of contract, no one knows, because the veterans are NOT given a copy of the contract they sign, when they apply for acceptance to the home.

BloggerzJune 3, 2013 at 4:37 AM
In response to the nursing issue. We started with 24hr nursing. The midnight shift nurse, Dave would show up for his shift with his guitar, radio, and reading book and would do absolutely NOTHING. After NUMEROUS ID/ISSUE complaints, it took him ACTUALLY trying to bite the finger of a member that he was having a dispute with to get him fired. His position was never replaced. But we were STILL paying for a midnight shift nurse. That left us with 2 nurses. The day shift nurse, after MANY complaints, was transferred to another unit and replaced with an OUTSTANDING Nurse. Unfortunately, she has been gone on medical leave and we don't know when/if she will return. That left us with 1 permanent nurse we all call IT'S NOT MY JOB KATHY. Good luck getting ANYTHING but emergency help out of her. So, on Kathys days off: regular, and the many extra days off she takes at the last minute, the nursing supervisor has to run around just to get us SOME coverage during that day shift. And again, we're paying for PROPER nursing coverage. I will say that the nursing supervisor from what I've seen, does her best with what she's got, but doesn't have a reliable staff. But STILL, we are getting charged $2100.00 a month for sometimes non existent nursing care. Basically, we can never count on having a nurse on duty at any particular time. It's a crap shoot. We are not allowed to go to the pharmacy anymore, and are supposed to get our meds at the Rankin 3 nurses station at 1700hrs to pick them up yet, on several occasions we've gone to pick them up but the lights are off and no ones home, there are on days when we were supposed to have a nurse on duty from 1000hrs-1830hrs. So we are paying part of that $2100.00 for non existant nursing care when, if the state put that money towards helping us move into cheaper housing, we would have all the proper nursing care we need for less money, and saving the tax payers more money

Sunday, June 2, 2013

GR Vets Home wins 2nd place in Home Depot contest.

Mlive dot com is reporting that the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans has won 2nd place in their contest. The vets home will get 150,000 from Home Depots Foundations Aprons In Action.

The home is planning on using the 150 grand to pay for renovations to the closed 4th floor of the McLeish building, seeing how they say that the State of Michigan will not pay for the upkeep of the building.

Mean while, the Rankin building (oldest of the 3 main buildings) needs serious upgrading and repair. Rankin needs new elevators, a new air circulating system, and repairs that have been waiting for over 3 years now.

So where is the next contest? Or do we need to have a bake sale to provide for the Rankin repairs?