Neighborhood care homes


Many people say they believe in homes for the disadvantaged, but ‘not in my backyard’ (NIMBY); and after working in several and starting and running one for mental [not retarded] patients, I agree.  Many of these homes are noisy, boring, dirty, with nonstop TV, no privacy, and mutual abuse among the disadvantaged residents of the home (the retarded, aged, mentally ill, alcoholic, etc).  There is a lot of this because of their ‘rights,’ and because it’s easier for staff to go along with it.  It’s glorified baby sitting.  The residents vegetate and staffs burn out.

Neighbors too.  They chafe over parking, yelling, profanity, panhandling, poor grooming and attire, depressed behavior, traffic in and out of the house, and lowered property values.  [If you’re raising a family, would you want one next door?]

Homes are run permissively despite what is claimed – especially smaller homes, as when one of the residents moves out, the drop in income is one sixth.  If the staff of a home wants to do more than baby-sit, they have the thankless job of working with the disadvantaged, the relatives, sometimes the neighbors, but most of all, permissive social workers (and the media), who take the side of the residents:

  1. Obligation.     The public is made to feel it is their obligation to accept the substandard behavior of the disadvantaged.  Not so.  It is the obligation of the disadvantaged (with the help of their social workers) to learn how to live in society, find work, and then move into regular neighborhoods.  In the meantime these homes can locate in industrial areas, on the outskirts of town, or some other area.
  2. ‘Family-like.’      A myth – no sensible family operates the way these homes do.
  3. Size.      Since large institutions are supposed to be bad, these small homes are supposed to be good.  But small homes don’t have a fraction of the resources and aren’t any more successful.  (The reason Calif. wants these homes is that mental patients can be housed for 1/5th of what it would cost in an institution.)


These homes should use a boot camp approach to instill tradi­tional values.  They should be run and monito­red by competing private agencies. They should require residents hold part or full time work in sheltered workshops or regular employment.  They should require a lot of residents so they have every reason to improve.