Living centers serve vital role
My sister became a resident at a state supported living center in October 2012, and she is now in the best physical, emotional and spiritual health.
It is not easy to obtain placement at a SSLC; there are many legal steps involved. Before coming to the SSLC, she remained at a psychiatric hospital for two years due to the local authorities delaying placement at an SSLC while they tried in vain to find her a group home.
Group homes or private ICF (intermediate care facility) placement is not available to every person with intellectual or developmental disabilities because they only want individuals who are “free of aggressive or threatening behaviors; no serious psychiatric or mental health condition.”
Please refer to the figures listed in the Texas Long-Term Service and Supports (LTSS) Waiver Programs (revised 8/2018), Page 2.
The individuals’ needs at the SSLCs are labile depending on their current medical and psychiatric status. The individuals who live at the SSLCs need intense psychiatric and/or medical supervision that cannot be duplicated in the community.
The professionals who can constantly monitor and medically oversee this population can only be found at the SSLCs.
Forty percent of the individuals referred to the SSLCs come from community providers who have said they can’t meet the needs of some individuals.
There was one recurring question during the Senate Finance hearing on Feb. 5, 2019: “If there were no SSLCs, where would these people go?”
“Nothing about us without us.” Why are guardians of the individuals at the SSLCs not being heard?
I think three things have happened — not necessarily because of President Trump but accelerated and crystallized by him.
The first is encouraging and reinforcing the evil of “they.” “They” is not us. It is easier for us to accept that someone else is responsible for our misfortune than it is for us to accept that we have responsibility for our own condition; then we blame “they.”
We’ve seen Trump play this up at every chance. “They” won’t pass my policies (Democrats); “they” keep sending their worst people (Mexicans); “they” are from terrorist countries (Muslims), “they” hate this country (the Squad).
The second is the “tribal” or “cult” mentality. My leader is enlightened. He is the only one capable of leading us out of the predicament we are in. Since he is my leader, he can do no wrong (if I admit he is wrong, then I have to admit that maybe I’m wrong having him as my leader). When his actions cross with my normal sense of right and wrong, I have to overlook it because (1) he is leveling that insult against “They,” and (2) his insult is not nearly as bad as the good he has promised he will do (end justifies the means).
Third, Republican politicians have decided that Trump has been so successful in tapping into the “They” and the cult approach, crossing him would imperil what they hold most dear — reelection.
Why do Republicans unconditionally support Trump? They don’t want to be condemned as a “They.”
Recent reporting about Vice President Pence visiting the border revealed the abuse of human beings, trapped in a fenced-in pen. A terrible stench was reported. The stench is not the immigrants or asylum-seekers who have come in search of shelter from horrific circumstances in their home countries. It’s the stench of man’s inhumanity to man.
May this stench haunt those responsible when they sit to enjoy a meal and when they lie down in their comfortable, clean beds at night. May it remain with our congressional representatives until they use their voices and power to right the wrongs that are being committed in the name of the American people.
In comments made after his visit, our vice president blamed Democrats and refused to acknowledge that Democrats and Republicans approved supplemental appropriations to the tune of $708 million for establishing and operating migrant care processing facilities. He was quick to blame Democrats for this nightmarish situation.
I call on Rep. Michael Burgess, Sen. John Cornyn and Sen. Ted Cruz to make a public statement correcting this falsehood. These congressmen owe it to their constituents.