NEWSMAKINGNEWS

OPEN LETTER TO MARIN COUNTY
DIRECTOR LARRY MEREDITH

by Virginia McCullough
 

March 21, 2005

Larry Meredith, Director
County of Marin
Department of Health and Human Services Administration

20 North San Pedro Road, Suite 2028
San Rafael, California  94903
Phone: (415)  499-3696
FAX #: (415) 499-3791

Dear Director Meredith:

It came to my attention as a reporter, through my own investigation and having seen extensive publicity in the printed media and on both audio and video media, that Marin County senior citizen, Sarah Nome, is lacking appropriate housing to accommodate her disabilities which include her inability to walk and incontinence.

I understand that The Older Americans Act, Title III, Sec. 1321.61 requires your agency to address finding appropriate accommodated housing for the disabled elderly in Marin County.  Said Section states your agency shall "represent the interests of older persons to local level and executive branch officials, public and private agencies or organizations."  I understand your agency received state and federal funding to accomplish these aims, and that at least three of your agencies "sources" are also funded by the Marin Community Foundation (The Buck Trust) and include:

1)    Whistlestop, Marin Senior Coordinating Council, San Rafael;
2)    Senior Access, San Rafael;
3)    West Marin Senior Services.

Mrs. Nome has been stranded at Kaiser Hospital, San Rafael for some time, and now is subjected to an eviction order.  This has incurred alleged medical bills and resulted in a pattern of depriving her of newspapers, television and contact with the outside world.  I am sure this case has been known to you for a long time.  Your agency and the Marin Community Foundation have totally failed to provide senior services for this disabled woman, equal to those you provide other citizens and in accordance with the Older Americans Act, TCalifornia laws against elder abuse and federal civil rights statutes.

I understand from reading the Marin Independent Journal that Judge Sutro will not order Mrs. Nome to be evicted by the Sheriff if she has nowhere to go to accommodate her needs.  I am shocked that Judge Sutro did not pick up the phone and call your agency to handle this matter.  I understand most judges routinely do so when an elderly or disabled person is homeless.  Instead, Judge Sutro made an unprecedented order that the Marin County Public Guardian file a petition for the conservatorship of Mrs. Nome

Without intervention of the Division of Aging it appears, Ms. Nome will suffer increased mental and physical stress and remain homeless and incur expenses, except for her Kaiser insurance plan and current care at Kaiser, San Rafael.

I have provided a copy of this letter to Thomas Peters, PhD, the President and CEO of the Marin Community Foundation in hopes that he will also respond.

Very truly yours,

 

Virginia McCullough

cc: Thomas Peters, PhD
President and CEO
Marin Community Foundation

5 Hamilton Landing, Suite 200
Novato, California 94949
Phone: (415) 464-2510
 


Virginia McCullough © 3/21/05