Now is definitely not the time for the Raleigh City Council to move forward on a Dix Park. Because of budget shortfalls, the Governor has just recommended closing 50 additional state psychiatric beds which will put more strain on the safety net for people with psychiatric disorders. There are not enough available beds at the Central Regional Hospital campus to accommodate the patients in central NC who need them. The local hospitals in Wake County--WakeMed, Rex and DukeRaleigh--are steadfastly refusing to open psychiatric beds to get patients out of their Emergency Departments. Dix has the best track record of good care and safety for patients. The beds need to remain open and more need to be built. How about spending some of that economic stimulation money building a new hospital on the Dix land?
Thanks to Bob Geary for his usual wonderful reporting. Everyone needs a safe place to call home as well as the individual-specific supports to keep it. If I were living at the shelter or in the woods, I probably would not feel like there was any progress in meeting the goals of the 10 year plan to end homelessness. But I have seen city, county, state and federal dollars budgeted for additional housing. Is there a progress report on how many homeless people have been successfully moved into housing?
My husband and I recently wrote a report, "Indicators of the Impact of NC's Mental Health Reform on People with Severe Mental Illness." You can find the report on www.nami-wake.org. One of the sad facts related to reform is that more and more people with mental illness are homeless in spite of the 10 year plan to end homelessness.
In FY 06/07, 1,291 people were discharged from state psychiatric hospitals directly to homeless shelters or the street. This represents an increase from 2002 of 30%.
With the failure of mental health reform and the current economic situation, it is likely that this trend will continue UNLESS there is more public attention to the problem. Putting a face on homelessness makes it real. I applaud Bob Geary for doing just that.
How sad to hear that such good people are leaving the N&O. Jean Fisher is a wonderful reporter and her readers will miss her. Most of the editors are behind the scenes, but I am sure those accepting buyouts will be missed by their colleagues at the N&O. We need to support our local papers. Without them, there is NO LIGHT shining in Raleigh.
I really appreciate the Independent Weekly's endorsement as well as the work you do championing the issues I care about so passionately. I'm feeling the love out here in Eastern Wake County and I just hope it is enough to get me a seat at the table because I am ready for action!
Make sure you're signed up so we can inbox you the latest.
Login to choose your subscriptions!
Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation