Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mentally Ill Man Forcibly Transferred from his Family Care Home in Western NC to Another One (Where They Could Possibly Make Money Off His SSDI check)

Family Care Homes throughout NC are a place where many people, who would otherwise be homeless, live. For most of these residents, whom have been determined to be disabled---either physically or mentally or both-----their ability to stay there is associated with their Social Security Disability checks.

Specifically, except for $66/ month which they receive (and the homes take out the co-pays for medications from that $66), they surrender their disability checks. Most disabled people who receive Social Security Disability receive checks in the range of $600-850/ month, depending on how long they worked/ vested into the Social Security System. The difference is made up by funds funneled via the Departments of Social Services at each county.

It costs approximately $1250/ month/ person to live in such a place. What they receive for that is: meals; a room (commonly shared w/ another person); a person on the premises 24/7. This person administers their medications to them. They receive some transportation to medical facilities; they are 'supposed' to have organized social activities.

With the discontinuation of Community Support Services (CSS) as associated w/ NC Medicaid cuts, they are once again isolated and this is particularly so in western NC as many of the homes are placed outside of cities.

These people have certain rights which are outlined in the Family Care Homes law (see below). Posted in each of the houses is supposed to be a way to contact an ombudsman. However, many residents are very hesitant to file any complaints fearing reprisals from the management.

Additionally, this psychologist filed 5+ complaints early in 2009 to the Department of Health Service Regulation, which oversees NC Family Care Homes. For each county, there is a social worker in the Department of Social Services whose task is to oversee these issues which includes making surprise visits to family care homes.

As associated w/ those complaints, I received back discouraging notices that 'nothing was found to be amiss.' However, interestingly, Jeff Clifton, et al., who were managing WNC Homes in very very rural Leicester NC, and whom continue to manage Richmond Hills Homes, are no longer managing WNC Homes----the place about which I made so many complaints. But, just as they were pulling out of managing that family care home in Leicester, they jerked up one of my clients and moved them to their facility where (they figured) he would be happy to live.

Here is my letter to DSS Buncombe's Cheryl Simcox, the DSS social worker who oversees family care homes in Buncombe county as well as to Lou Morton, the Western NC representative for the state regulatory agency, the Department of Health Service Regulations.


Marsha V. Hammond, PhD Clinical / Health Psychology
Licensed Psychologist, NC
E mail:
Cell: 828 772 1127

April 15, 2010


Re: forced removal of family care home resident w/o his permission

Dear DSS Buncombe County & NC Division of Health Service Regulation (managing Family Care Homes in NC):

This is a continuation of my complaints leveled against the management of WNC Homes, specifically Jeff Clifton et al, whom, I understand manage Richmond Hills Family Care Homes.
No, I am not going to fill out any more forms as they appear to go nowhere but I am registering my concern about the welfare of my client as associated w/his forced removal from his domicile at the WNC Homes facility on Country Time Lane, Leicester, NC two weeks ago.

I understand that Jeff Clifton et al., are no longer managing this family care home, specifically WNC Homes, on Country Time Lane in Leicester, NC. However, the action was so egregious that I am registering my concern and would ask that you follow up on the matter. The client is afraid to speak out; he has a head injury and this caused him a great deal of confusion. I wonder how many other people have been drug out of their homes by managers who want to manage someone's Social Security Disability checks?

Approximately ten days ago, my client, ------------------ was taken, against his will, to Richmond Hills Family Care Homes which is managed by the same people as were managing WNC Homes, specifically, Jeff Clifton et al. The driver came into his room, told him to ‘get your shit together, we’re leaving’ upon which he was driven to Richmond Hills Family Care Home, where he did not want to be, and then, upon his dissatisfaction w/ this treatment, taken back to WNC Family Care Homes in Leicester, NC within a day or two.

Did not the ‘new management’ of the WNC Homes have anything to say about the treatment of their resident?

The Family Care Home Law, specifically, Subchapter 13G, Licensing of Family Care Homes, disallows such behavior by management.

I am looking forward to your response but frankly every time I have filed a complaint about the treatment of residents at WNC Homes, all I get back is that my complaint has been discovered to be ‘unfounded’ and I certainly am not going to any more meetings at DSS Buncombe County only to be verbally accosted by the likes of Mr. Clifton----with DSS Buncombe County personnel looking on.

Marsha V. Hammond, PhD

cc: Amanda Stone, DSS Buncombe; Cheryl Simcox, DSS Buncombe; Cathy Smith, Disability Rights NC; Mellonee Kennedy, Disability Rights NC; John Rittelmeyer, lead attny disability rights NC; Sarah Tarpey, DSS Buncombe caseworker;
Lou Morton, Western NC representative of the NC Division of Health Service Regulation; Barbara Ryan, chief investigator, DHSR; Brad Owen, Western Highlands Network LME;


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