Over the past month, four homes with 22 children and adults with severe disabilities or mental health problems have closed their doors in Montreal. And more than 200 similar resources could suffer the same fate in the coming months as a result of changes made by Quebec in their funding, according to information gathered by La Presse.
Solange Valiquette, who takes care of six people with severe disabilities in his residence in Mont-Laurier since 2011, is among the number. “Financially, I can not hold. I give myself six months to close. And I’m not alone in my situation, “says M me Valiquette.
“What we’re seeing is Mélaric Power 10. But instead of being a single center, we are full of little ones,” says Johanne Grégoire, who has been hosting seven people with severe mental health problems for 20 years. Nominingue.
Quebec has 8700 Intermediate Resources – Shelter (RIMA), which accommodates 36,000 users with different physical, disability or mental health problems. Owners of these resources usually take care of nine or fewer users in their own homes. Only a portion of these resources, those that accommodate users with the heaviest profiles, are currently in crisis.
“Nobody knows exactly how many RIMA are threatened with closure. But there are many, “says Bruce Scheider, who has been advocating for the rights of these resources for months.
A problem that lasts
The financial problems of these RIMA began in 2012, when the province’s intermediate resources got the right to regroup and signed an agreement with the government.
As a result of this agreement, between 90% and 95% of resources have seen their salaries increase. But a handful of them, those hosting the heaviest clienteles, suffered significant financial losses. To such an extent that the government has agreed to offer them a special maintenance measure until the end of 2015. “Without this financial supplement, we do not arrive”, summarizes Paul Yellen, who welcomes six users with disabilities Mental health and serious behavioral disorders in the Laurentians.
2013-2014 733 of 7481
2014-2015 500 of 8635
Last December, realizing that several resources were likely to close if the retention measure were abolished, Quebec proposed to extend it to 50% by 2016. Some unions agreed.
“No one is happy with this deal. But this minimal protection has been chosen to give itself time. We have a year to find a solution, “says Réjean Simoneau, president of the Quebec Residential Resource Pool (RESSAQ), which represents 1,200 resources. According to him, if nothing changes next year, more than 170 of the RIMAs they represent are threatened with closure. Some would incur losses of up to $ 40,000 per year.
Worst in Montreal
The situation is even more striking in Montreal. The National Alliance of Adult Democratic Resources Associations of Quebec (ADRAQ-CSD) flatly refused the government’s offer to extend the retention to 50% for one year. For Alliance President Diane Ménard, the offer was “far-fetched, contemptuous and insufficient”.
Result: more RIMA have squarely over countervailable since 1 st January and lose between $ 1000 and $ 8000 per month in remuneration according to M me Ménard. Talks are still underway with Quebec City.
“Since Christmas, there have been four resource closures in Montreal alone. And there will be others in the coming weeks. ”
M me Ménard estimated that over 105 RIMA are endangered in the metropolis.
The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) does not know how many closures of RIMA have occurred in recent weeks, as this information is held by healthcare institutions. “We were informed, however, that a resource in the Montreal region has decided to end its activities because of the termination of maintenance or protection measures,” says MSSS spokeswoman Caroline Gingras. That all users have been relocated.
Bank of nominations
Each year, an average of 800 intermediate resources close in Québec. “We see that the majority of closures are not motivated by retribution,” says Ms. Gingras. It adds that the MSSS records each year “a positive growth of more than 400 new resources”.
At the Center for Integrated Health and Social Services (CISSS) in the Laurentians, it is estimated that only 11 of the region’s 226 intermediate resources are currently at risk of closure. “Some fifty users are affected. We sat down with these resources to see how we could help them, “says CISSS spokesperson Myriam Sabourin. It explains that, in the event of closures, a bank of candidates was created to open other resources and welcome the clientele. Users could also relocate to existing resources.
For M me Ménard, the risk of relocation for very vulnerable users is “inhuman”. “Many have been living in these resources for 10 years or more. Our users are not penguins! They are human beings! ” she says.
Several owners of RIMA are worried about the fate reserved for their protégés. “I can not resign myself to sending them to an institution,” says Carole Snape, who welcomes three users to her home in Val David.
“If the users were not at home, they would be in institutions, and that would cost five to ten times the price,” says Sophie Malo, who welcomes four children with serious mental health problems in Lanaudière. It does not make sense what’s going on. ”
Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca