Report: Living conditions deplorable at some group homes

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Group homes are home to more than 4,000, but results of an investigation released Tuesday unveil shocking details and pictures.

Of the state's nearly 500 group homes, the Advocacy Center, a non-profit organization in New Orleans, narrowed in on what they said are 16 of the worst offenders.

"It is unconscionable that people with disabilities or any people in our state live in such sorts environments - dirty, roach-infested, rusty bathrooms," said Advocacy Center Executive Director Lois Simpson.

"I didn't like it there. It was nasty. I hated it. It smelled like poop and pee because the staff didn't clean up when the people made a mess," said an agent on behalf of a former Calcasieu group home resident.

The advocacy center acknowledged their report does not dictate how every group home in the state works.

"Our intention was not to give an accurate portrayal of every group home in the state. Our intention was to focus attention on conditions on these particular group homes," said Simpson.

The Department of Health and Hospitals inspects group homes annually and is responsible for issuing citations or fines.

"Over the last year, we've had three complaints from ombudsman for these 16 homes, which we have investigated thoroughly & followed up on," said DHH's Kathy Kleibert.

The state said all 16 group homes in question have been cleared of any citations.

This investigation is why they're trying to get Senate Bill 227 passed so the money earmarked for people living at a group home would instead be available for the person to use on themselves, such as the cost of a sitter.

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