June 7, 2022
I last wrote an update about Homeward Bound’s activities related to closing the Brooklyn Park facility and opening several smaller homes in way last January. But action has begun to pick up. We will be in communication with the families of Brooklyn Park relatively soon with an update and plan of action.
Covid and the worsening staffing crisis have affected the entire disability industry, including HBI. No where can we see the effects of these developments more acutely than at our Brooklyn Park facility. Recently in response, we have downsized the site to three units and closed the fourth unit. This action reduced our need for staff and allows us to concentrate on service delivery rather than filling empty beds. In partnership with the county, we are working now to permanently close those beds.
We have also met with county planners to begin work on a plan of closure. While the timeline is tentative at present, most likely those families who select HBI as a provider will see the moves take place in early to mid-2023. After 4-bed waiver homes are built, licensed, and staffed individuals and their staff will move into the new sites. In general, it takes about 6 months to build a new home and we have planned for an additional two months for purchasing and licensing. So consider the timeline for each home as about eight months. The county recently informed us that licensing may take a little longer so that is where we may have to adjust things.
HBI has purchased several buildable lots in Brooklyn Park. We anticipate, if all the planning and financing falls into place, to begin construction of the earliest homes in the summer of 2022 and continuing on until all of the homes are finished. The homes will be new construction and built with the same types of characteristics seen in our homes that serve individuals with high medical conditions. That will allow individuals to age into those homes.
Families have several rights in this process. They have the right to select another type of service (other than a 4-bed home) and provider to replace living at Brooklyn Park, or another provider of a 4-bed home. So families will get to decide whether or not they wish to continue with HBI during this process. If they do, they will also have the right to choose a location. Part of our planning will involve recommendations of where individuals will match the best with others.
Also, we are offering the families of Brooklyn Park the first priority in selecting any openings that occur in our current waiver homes, in case they wish to move faster and are interested in that location. Currently, we have three openings in our smaller homes. Please contact Mary Carlson at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.