Michener Centre transition going poorly, non-profit says

LoSeCa, a non-profit group in St. Albert, has concerns with how the Michener Centre in Red Deer is moving clients into the community
Marie Renaud, executive director of the LoSeCa Foundation in St. Albert, has yet to receive information about the three Michener Centre clients her organization will be caring for. (CBC)

A non-profit group in St. Albert has concerns with how the Michener Centre in Red Deer is moving clients into the community.

The Alberta government is closing the residence for developmentally disabled adults and moving clients into community-based care.

The LoSeCa Foundation will be taking care of three of those residents but executive director Marie Renaud says she can’t get basic information about their needs.

“We're going to take out a mortgage, buy a home, retrofit it for a wheelchair,” she said.

“We need some physical information. We need preferences. We need to know what kind of community setting is going to work for these folks.”

Renaud says each resident — many who have lived in the Michener Centre for decades — will only be given $1,000 when they leave.

“A thousand dollars to start a new life,” she said.

“You know they've been denied the ability to work  or the ability to earn an income their entire lives because they were institutionalized. And they get a thousand dollars. It doesn't seem right.”

Renaud believes some residents are being dumped in order to get them out of the facility quickly.

“This transition is just a colossal failure at this point,” she said.

A spokesperson for Alberta Human Services denies that residents are being dumped and says an analysis of their needs is ongoing.

He said that LoSeCa will get the required information as the process continues.

The deadline to move residents has been extended to the end of 2014 to make sure each case is properly analyzed.