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The Tentacle


July 14, 2014

Homelessness A Path to Resolve

Jill King

Homelessness, along with filling the gap to shelter those in need, is frequently in the spotlight lately. After Frederick County found a way to keep a year-round shelter open, news came of a large surge of children crossing the southern border that increased the needs across the country.

 

The American public is not insensitive as a whole to this issue, but many are just not on board with the politics behind the end solution without solving the base problem. While sending back these illegal immigrant children would be a solution, the border is still open; there is no possible way that sealing off the border would help now. Meanwhile, providing a shelter in Frederick without attracting jobs and creating local solutions for mental health issues along with substance abuse will not garnish any results.

 

Mental health and substance abuse often go hand in hand.

 

Without aid for mental health issues, self medication becomes problematic, along with crime. Poverty is nothing new to those who suffer the numerous conditions from bipolar disorder to schizophrenia that often go untreated.

 

After trying to find help for friends in locating inpatient facilities in the area, it is unnerving the problems facing people who wake up and want help but have to go on a waiting list, sometimes for weeks to help with their alcohol or drug abuse. By the time a bed is available, often they change their mind due to their circumstances.

 

For many, until they are broke and eating out of dumpsters, or tapped out their welcome with family and friends, it is hard for them to realize that there is a problem and even then if there is a mental disorder, some are still unaware.

 

A court hearing this week put off the sale of the Montevue/Citizens County tax-paid facility, putting numerous items on the docket for over a year from now. Initially, this home had been a mental health facility, until it lost a large part of its funding from the state; it has now become a care center for elderly and those needing medical rehabilitation, a status covered by insurance policies such as Maryland medical assistance, before the existence of exchanges to Obamacare.

 

The previous nursing home board members, who brought this under the discretion of the courts, were bitter because they lost their status as a board member; and yet they would not attempt to resolve the issue of losing money. This property needed to be either largely renovated or rebuilt to abide by mandates to update the facilities, and it wasn't the first time the county taxpayers were on the hook for a politician’s dream in helping the elderly. The latest multi-million dollar fiasco was a decision of a slight majority of the Board of County Commissioners headed by Jan Gardner.

 

The efforts that have been spent on trying to save a tax paid facility for political points, instead of a needed facility, which was once there, is baffling. If we have to save this facility, hopefully no more tax dollars will be spent when affordable health care now exists and no one will be left out in the cold.

 

We should expect all politicians to pander to the elderly, to put it simply.

 

Alcoholics, drug addicts, homeless, and those suffering mental issues fighting their way through the healthcare regulations are the scapegoat for policies of gun control, sin taxes, and government hijacking of taxes to fund charitable organizations in many cases.

 

You see, politicians don't care about these groups; the people working for the groups giving their time and energy volunteering or the philanthropist who provides for a cause of their choice are the only ones that really care. None of them have had to deal with these problems on a personal level; and, if they did, they would know that the problem is much larger than making The Frederick News-Post and running a campaign with bragging rights to groups that may or may not make a real difference.

 

That warm fuzzy feeling doesn't exist, when attempting to find immediate facilities to help people with addictions or attempting to provide for them while they sort through and try to get their life in line on their own. Most of the time this doesn't happen; failed attempts at rehab are too numerous to count and removing themselves from the circumstances that contributed are often hard once they get back home. When an addict is ready to commit, there shouldn't be so many barriers to getting them help.

 

Change the facility back to its roots and stop pandering to the voters.

 

Many people will go through life not having a clue what I am talking about; be grateful. For those of us who have dealt with addiction on a more intimate level, all you have to do is ask what, when, where, and how to move forward. No person wishes to be in this position and would appreciate stability and structure. These are the forgotten people that need help and local resources that are not being helpful. Why would we though? They are not a strong voting base?

 

Throwing money at any problem does not work; acknowledging mental health issues and addictions are stemming larger issues will be a step toward resolve.

 

Retraining my brain for the future, conferring with the past...

 

jill.king234@gmail.com

 



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