House of Hope for Mental Health Care delayed license in Y.R....Why?

It's been almost a year since we last helped find a suitable tenant for the "House of Hope" located just north of Green Lane on Leslie St in Newmarket, Ontario, or Sharon, technically. The people we found have experience running homes for those in need and have been running this place since moving in, like a clean, well oiled, machine.

Has been home of a type to help people for generations now
The residents there are dished out their medications of course, and each gets their own room (some domicile housing providers puts 3 and 4 in one room!), but, unlike a previous well known Cross Links group that ran a home their for 9 years (and ran / runs many more), and which applications for licenses seem to get rubber stamped despite long time complaints about the 'care' they take of the residents in their care, they are not allowed to smoke in their units or eat in their rooms, and it's enforced - keeping the possibilities of any mice or ants infestations to a minimum.

Every room has natural light
For 9 years this so called group of "care takers" either allowed smokers to smoke in bed without repercussions, or turned a blind eye to it one supposes, along with any "inspectors", as evidenced by being found in such a state whenever the building's owner would drop in for visits often finding piles of butted cigarettes bedside in some units as well as holes, and walls left with nonsensical writing across them. Residents were also fed microwaved frozen meals as their nourishment to eat in their rooms. He also relayed that people never seemed to be doing anything either when he'd visit.


This new group makes home made meals and has a supper table and common areas that seat everyone, changes clean linens regularly, and keeps the place spic and span. If an employee doesn't do the job expected and up to standards they are let go, period.

In fact, in the 9 years a previous group had the place the owner did not recall an inspector ever coming out to check on how they ran things. He'd even find drug needles in corners of common areas and bring it to their attention, another time a resident had a sword-like knife in their room which is not allowed. Yet never an inspector it seemed.

He also told me the current proprietor of the residence he owns does a 10x better job of keeping the place clean, feeding residence real meals, enforcing no smoking rules and runs a no nonsense ship - unlike the rubber stamp group - yet still they have no license issued all these months later.

House room view
Inspectors have come and have been nit-picking the place for months now, one asking a fire door be added, while the next one asked it be removed etc, all the while denying their application for miniscule reasons compared to the years of squalor previously witnessed. Meantime the other group seems to be getting rewarded with new regional contracts / licenses, including now a youth residence they will be apparently running. Are they blind inspectors?

The home was left a mess too, as I was involved at the time in the initial cleanup,
Typical wall condition left by previous tenants in 2010-11
and wondered how in the world they could run a place in such a state and get away with it let alone continually be rewarded with licenses to run more. I still wonder, and meantime await this new group being approved soon as we desperately need more of this type of housing provider that both cares and knows what they are doing from a grass roots level.

Something is drastically wrong when we continue the status quot without checks, and reward groups that even our own York Region social audit pointed out our current providers are / were not handling people well, nor providing dignified care and activities, often essentially stripping residents of all their welfare funds leaving them with little or nothing to spend, and care residents despondent and depressed, often and afraid to speak up. No atmosphere for anyone to endure let alone in someone's "care".  
Completely redone after long time residents left from need
Despite providing private rooms and home made meals, The House of Hope  still takes less from those in residence there than other domiciles help themselves to, leaving more money in the hands of the residents to control and be active with....and the residents actually like living there. Does that not matter to the Region?

Another such place run on the outskirts of town has / had residents there living in fear. A young man I went to visit said another resident came into his room, which he also had to share, and helped himself in his drawer. It was common for a group of them to be in an apartment with everyone there toking etc while someone surely is dealing there. The host was busted for selling them cigarettes illegally also, yet last I heard is still in business. Wow. I guess as long as the paper work is filled out correctly, that is the main criteria. She'd actually been interested in the House of Hope, which I'd advised the property owner against, knowing what I knew.

"Unfortunately, it's all about big money Tom" the property owner replied to me as to his opinion to why, when I inquired how it didn't make sense his tenant being denied a license so long when it's evidential that so many are run so poorly.

Can always get the CBC to check out why, need be again.
All people deserve a place to live that is dignified, clean, safe and encouraging and that is what the current proprietors at the House Of Hope offer, so stop delaying good care and rewarding poor care. It doesn't look good, nor make sense in this desperate time of need for housing and care, to our residents mired with mental health and addictions. 

Absolutely no reason these people should be facing barriers at this time, in fact the Region should be happy to have someone who actually cares in the 'business". They may not run a slew of them, but it's about quality of care, not quantity of units.
Front room corner after tape & paint in 2011
Here are 3 of the outcomes mentioned as found in York Region through the social audit "Behind the Masks" in 2010

4.) We recommend that all organizations and agencies, governmental and non-governmental, along with various levels of government, utilize a Healthy Communities Model based on the Social Determinants of Health
, in their planning, service / program delivery and policy development, with a vision toward realizing health equity for all members of our communities.
5.) We urge municipal, provincial and federal levels of government to take action on key items such as the availability and affordability of housing, the availability and affordability of transportation, and the income insufficiency of marginalized groups in our communities.
6.) We urge all organizations, agencies and service providers to review their practices / policies and challenge themselves to provide the best service possible, while respecting the dignity and rights of the individuals they are serving.

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