If you’ve ever found yourself staring incredulously at the awful antics of some elected representative and stopped to wonder, Who the fuck elects these idiots?, have a quick gander here. It appears it really does take a village.
“Staff of a residential home for developmentally disabled youth with mental health issues newlyopened in a north Etobicoke neighbourhood faced an angry, anxious group of residents Thursday night.”
“Griffin Centre is a non-profit, multiservice mental health agency that operates five residential homes across the city and in Richmond Hill and offers programs and services funded by the Ministry of Community and Social Services and the Ministry for Children and Youth Services.
The centre recently purchased and renovated the house at 22 Jeffcoat Dr. where four challenged youth, some with autism, have lived for the past two months. All have learning issues and emotional problems, which include anxiety, depression, explosive anger and complicated family situations that prevent them from living at home, Deanna Dannell, Griffin Centre’s director of youth and family support services, told the crowd.
Staff are in the house “24/7” she said, adding staff are trained to deal with “aggressive and volatile behaviour, part of which is knowing when to call the police. Typically, we don’t have emergency services come as much as they have in the last few weeks.”
Asked the nature of police calls, a 23 Division officer explained police remove a child from the home under the Ontario Mental Health Act and take them to hospital when the child is a danger to himself or herself, or a danger to others, including other residents or home staff.”
Within 10 minutes of the meeting arranged by the ward councillor of the neighbourhood, Doug Ford, at the 23 Division police station, some of the ‘anxious residents’ were demanding explanations.
“This is not a place for mental people. This is a residential area. Why don’t you build a house out on a farm?”
“There is nothing wrong with what the Griffin group is doing with these children. They’re just doing it in the wrong location.”
“What do I say to my three kids under the age of seven when one of these kids freaks out? When my child says, ‘Mommy, why are there police here again?’ What do I say?”
“The solution is for them to move out. Locate the facility in another place. This is a community for people, not for that. I have nothing against the kids. If the kids need help, they need help.”
Is it any wonder these people elected someone like Doug Ford (and his brother Rob before him) to represent them at City Hall? The lack of empathy or understanding. Their inability to deal with anyone who isn’t just like them. The shocking sense of entitlement. This is a community for people not for the mentals.
Of course, their councillor did pretty much what we’ve come to expect from him in situations like these. Pour gasoline on the fire of outrage. After arriving 25 minutes late, of course.
“You can’t destroy a community like this,” the councillor said. “People have worked 30 years for their home. My heart goes out to kids with autism. But no one told me they’d be leaving the house. If it comes down to it, I’ll buy the house myself and resell it.”
No one told Councillor Ford the mentals would be allowed to roam free. I mean, come on. His heart goes out to the kids but what about the normal people? The hardworking normal people?
What’s with Etobicoke? Especially those areas of it represented by the Fords, Doug Holyday, Gloria Lindsay Luby. If it’s not group homes or social housing they’re trying to keep at bay, they’re opposed to children being raised downtown (L’il Ginnys) or sidewalks. Yeah, they’re against sidewalks.
How the fuck are we supposed to build a cohesive, healthy, equitable city when we don’t share certain core values, one of which is not locking away those suffering from mental illness out on some farm or other institution? We tried that for awhile. It didn’t really work out that well.
Sloughing off something you may even deem to be worthy but just not desirable in your neck of the woods onto another part of the city is the exact opposite of neighbourly. Few of us are generous enough in spirit that we seek out areas to live that, I don’t know, highlight the marginalized. We all want a comfortable piece of mind, a safe place for us and our kids and our grandkids to go about their lives.
But we don’t all see difference as threatening, objectionable or unwelcome. That’s what you say to your young children, Mr. Anxious Resident, when they ask what’s going on at that house on the street. We’re not all the same. But that’s OK. Some people need different things in order to live their lives and we can all help out by gracefully accepting that and doing our utmost to adapt to different circumstances.
By being better neighbours.
— mystifiedly submitted by Cityslikr