Families frustrated with lack of answers

Posted: 10:01 AM, Jun 05, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-05 14:01:07Z

The families of some disabled adults are even more frustrated Monday over plans to shut down all seven "Transitions" program here in Mid-Michigan.

FOX 47 first broke the story on May 25, 2018.

This Monday "Tri-County Community Mental Health" of Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties met with the families to answer their questions.

But those families told FOX 47's Alani Letang they didn't get the answers they need.

They said they don't know what's going to happen to their loved ones after Transitions closes.

One of the main concerns is many people in the program need the structure and facilities transitions provides.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said those centers are too isolated to comply with regulations.

Letang talked with a man who uses Transitions.  He told her state and county administrators aren't listening to what he needs.

"People don't listen to us, what people try to do is sit on the phones and not focus on us," said Richard Smith, consumer of Transitions program.

Richard Smith has been using the Transitions program for 15 years.  He's come to rely on the structure it provides

"I wasn't very happy, I don't want to sit at home not doing nothing," said Smith.

Many guardians feel the decision to shut it down isn't in their relatives' best interests.

"They are taking away these people's structure is what they are doing, I mean they are just totally taking away the structure," said Terry Jacobson, former Transitions employee.

Parents are pushing Community Mental Health to change the program and make it compliant rather than just give up on it.

Matthew Kaufman's daughter is at Transitions.  He read a statement to a crowd of crying relatives Monday afternoon.

"Why throw the baby out with the bath watrer, by shutting down the programs, why niot get into compliance. This is just not going to be very helpful, specifically for my daughter," said Dr. Matthew Kaufman.

Dr. Kaufman told Letang he got information overload at Monday afternoon's meeting. "I'm leaving with the same amount of concerns, and they haven't answered any of my concerns," said Kaufman.

He said nobody asked the families what they thought before the decision was made.

"I don't know of any surveys I ws involved in, or any parent s at transitions north," said Kaufman.

And he said administrators aren't telling them what options will be available after Transitions is gone. Leaving Richard and other families with no choice but to fight for what they want

"We do things we have fun, we help each other," said Smith.

There will be more information sessions Wednesday June 6th and Thursday June 7th at 6PM.

The Tri-County Community Mental Health won't say anything publicly until after them.

The Transitions program has been around for more than 40-years. And it's going to be phased out over the next ten months.