Targets Alfonso Jackson, Secretary of HUD
Nashville- Over 400 ADAPT members ended a day of non-violent civil disobedience at the Nashville Office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Protesters blocked the entrance of the building chanting and expected a long stay after requesting a meeting with the Director. Within one hour, Director William Dirl came out to meet ADAPT. Cassie James, Campaign Coordinator for Access Across America (AAA), presented a letter for Secretary Alfonso Jackson detailing ADAPT’s demands. “See,when you meet with us, we go away,” James said with a smile.
“Even with the increasing availability of services and supports in the community, people with disabilities are being stopped from relocating to housing in the community because they cannot get any real access to housing,” stated James. “This affects and elderly and disabled people who continue to wait to get out of nursing homes,” Ms. James continued.
Earlier in the day, ADAPT members went to the office of TennCare and outlined demands for in home services and supports for the 6700 Tennesseans who want out of nursing homes. That action followed two days of protests and arrests at the Capitol focusing on Governor Bredesen’s callous disregard for these 6700 elderly and disabled people held in nursing homes against their will.
“The Tennessee community based service waivers don’t pay for the attendant care that disabled and elderly citizens need,” stated Deborah Cunningham of Memphis. “Other states apply for the federal Medicaid dollars that are available for attendant services but Governor Bredesen refuses.”
ADAPT demands that HUD Secretary Jackson implement the following four policies:
1. Improve the timing and coordination of affordable, accessible, integrated housing with the receipt of home and community-based services;
2. Facilitate the rebalancing of the long term care system;
3. Implement the goals of the New Freedom Initiative;
4. Assist states in implementing the Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision.
“Tennessee ADAPT is grateful to over 400 members who came to Nashville and drew attention to our 6700 citizens who want out of nursing homes but can’t get out because there are no adequate in home services and supports and a serious lack of affordable, accessible, integrated housing. We look forward to holding the Governor’s feet to the fire on these issues,” stated Randy Alexander, Organizer for Tennessee ADAPT.