Friday, September 26, 2014

There isn't any US Mail Delivery to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, so how do Residents get their mail?

If a Veteran in residence at the Michigan veterans home in Grand Rapids, Michigan,  goes on line to order something from Amazon or Ebay, and they type in the address of the Grand Rapids home for Veterans,  (3000 Monroe NW, GR MI 49504) they will find the address is NOT a valid address.

The US post office does not have it listed as a residence. Nor a business. We are not even sure if its listed as a State government address.

This is because no mail is delivered to the veterans home. 

That is correct. The US post office does not deliver mail to the Veterans home. They pick up mail from the outgoing mail box located just outside the main entrance, but they do not deliver mail to the home.

Someone from the home has to drive to the down town post office and pick up the mail.. Now how the Post office is releasing all that mail to one person, I have no idea. but they do.

What happens between that time and the time a Veteran gets his or her mail, is anybodies guess.

But we have an idea based on reports from the residents themselves.

The mail is picked up at the post office by one of the Vet Homes employees. Then it is taken to one of two locations, either the office of record keeping located in the west hall of the administration section of the McKlish building, or to a small room at the other end of that hall, located around the corner, between the west side elevators, and the volunteer office.

There the mail is sorted, and OPENED by staff members. Even Veterans who have written "DO NOT OPEN" mail notices on file, find their mail opened by staff members.

The reason for the mail being opened, is that when a "member" applies at the home, they sign a waiver allowing the home to open their mail for things related to billing and such.. This is NOT a blanket waiver allowing them to open all mail. And how the home handles this open mail is just another major problem in itself.  In 99 percent of the cases, if they take any paperwork out of the incoming mail they do not leave a courtesy photo copy of the document(s) they take.  This leaves veterans wondering what they were supposed to get, or be informed of. The veteran then has to track down information that he or she, may have little or no knowledge of because of the missing paperwork.

Then, when its all sorted and done, one of the Veterans from Dorm unit, takes the mail and delivers it to all the Veterans in the home, Monday thru Friday.  - There is no Saturday mail here. 

3 years ago in 2011, Veterans were given the option to "opt out" and sign a DO NOT OPEN form, after which their mail would not be opened without them being present. Yet the veterans who signed the form still had their mail opened, and it continues to this day. How many mistakes have to happen before someone understands that there is still a problem with this?

Now we hear of Voting materials not being delivered to veterans, or being thrown in the trash? What other mail has been thrown in the trash without veterans being informed?

It is now time for the Veterans home to step into the 21 century. And get a MAIL ROOM with specific mail handling policies that are approved of by the US Post Master General, and specific employees empowered by the Post Master, to handle the Mails.

Just like the Mail Clerks in the service, Specific people will be required to have an "authorization card", to be the ones to sort thru the mail,  to open what needs to be opened, and process the mail accordingly. And also deliver it to veterans.

Also, The mail opening policies at the home need to be written, and made public.  And accountability must be imposed on the home.. No more stealing peoples checks and rubber stamping them.  No more taking peoples paper work and leaving them in the dark.

The Poor handling of the US Mail, amongst other incidents at the home, is a direct reflection of the poor performance and leadership abilities of the current administration. The Buck stops at Sara's office - Or does it Rick Snyder?

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