Group Home Violence: 2 deaths discovered at unauthorized adult facility in Harris Co.
At least 35 people lived in a two-story house in the 14,000 block of Long Meadow Drive.
ABC13 also learned from MPs that in the past few months, they responded to two deaths at the home. Eyewitness News is awaiting more information on this subject.
Images captured inside the house showed rows of mattresses inside a garage without air conditioning.
MPs said the house was infested with cockroaches, had little food, no medicine, and operated with a single functional toilet for at least 35 people. The group home is called Caring Hands group homes.
“I would never have guessed in a million years that this was happening four houses away from me,” neighbor Ivana Moore said.
Neighbors said they saw people coming and going, but never imagined it was happening behind closed doors.
The majority of residents at home had mental health and health issues or physical disabilities.
“There are people who have extreme disabilities and mental health issues. A lot of them didn’t know how to communicate what was going on, so they were at a disadvantage,” said Pamela Greenwood, director of media relations. of Harris County Precinct 7.
After a welfare check prompted MPs to check the house, they found people not getting the care they needed, including a triple amputee and another injured.
“There was another man who had gaping wounds in his abdomen area,” Greenwood said.
Thirteen people were taken to hospital, Adult Protection Services said.
So what can be done to prevent group homes like this from functioning?
State and county officials said the house did not have an operating license.
Additionally, the HCFMO can work with the county attorney to obtain an injunction or emergency restraining order to close a house if necessary.
In fact, they were already reviewing this group after receiving a complaint earlier this month.
Then there’s the criminal side of things, where the Harris County District Attorney’s office might charge someone with the crime. At present, the matter is still under investigation.
“For now, we just need to make sure that the case, the facts, the details are investigated early and effectively so that we can make an appropriate charging decision in the future,” said the Division Chief of the Harris County Family Criminal Law Division. Office of District Attorney Mary McFaden. “The type of investigation that is being looked at, at least based on the facts that emerge from the media, is more of a negligent situation. So when you look at the law and what the law says in regards to negligence, then you must prove certain levels of care and duty. “
As the investigation continues, MPs are simply grateful that people who were in appalling conditions are now in better places.
“Adult Protective Services came to the scene and they were able to get people to better places that were allowed,” Greenwood said.
Some of the residents of the house told MPs they had been referred to the group home by Ben Taub.
Harris Health System, of which Ben Taub is a part, sent the following statement:
Personal care homes and other residential settings are essential resources for people experiencing housing insecurity after a hospital stay. Many local hospitals, mental health providers, and local police departments share these community resources with their clients.
Harris Health does not own or operate personal care homes or residential group homes, and does not have active contracts with such facilities.
When planning discharge for patients in need of a residential or respite environment, social workers provide patients and family members with known community resources to independently review, price and / or select.
Since learning about concerns about this residential facility, Harris Health has been reviewing its processes related to scheduling discharge for people who indicate they are unsecure about housing.
Harris Health supports the establishment of greater oversight of nursing homes and other residential group homes to ensure that the appropriate support for people residing in their residences is safely maintained.
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