The provincial government and VCH are hoping to make a lot of money from the re-development of the lands that George Pearson Centre is on (57th to 59th Ave – West of Cambie), while not creating fully community-based residential options for the people living there. Paul Caune was placed in Pearson for three years and can tell you it is not a safe and healthy place to be living. Here are some of his articles on Pearson as it currently supports people:
You can ask Barb and Veronica for their comparisons between living at Pearson and living in their own apartment in the community.
The Persons with Disabilities Advisory Committee at the City of Vancouver has reviewed the consultation materials and provided this feedback:
Vancouver Coastal Health presented its continuum of care to PDAC April 25, and we unanimously said it was not acceptable, substituted three smaller institutions for one large one, and was not best practice.
- None-the-less, Vancouver Coastal Health is still proposing the same continuum of care.
- The city held an Open House about Pearson on June 6 & 8. “Boards” were up all over the room with information about the development. Almost all of the boards had information about “apple pie” issues – eg how water will be used on the site, how our wonderful relationship to food that will be honoured, the parks & view lines, the connection to nature, state of the art energy and environmental sustainability, nurturing the “whole” individual, and holistic health.
- Also, three architectural site designs were presented: core, continuum and cluster. These three architectural site designs have no relevance to people with disabilities. All three architectural site designs include the same housing continuum that our committee rejected. The three proposed architectural site designs differ in the layout of buildings & open space; they do not differ in how people with disabilities are housed.
- Only a few “boards” at the Open House contained information about housing for people with disabilities
This included the same 5 housing continuum options that were presented to our committee in April
Housing Continuum – 5 options
1. Individual Accessible Apartments
Independent living in rented apartments with individualized assistance.
Person has control over their life and assistance.
We support this option.
2. Clustered Apartments
Accessible units clustered within a residential building with shared assistance within accessible units.
Support is directed by the person, who has control of their assistance & life.
We support this option.
Please note: VCH does not say how many apartments can be clustered in one building. Conceivably, they could allow 15-100 clustered apartments in the same building, in which case it would not be integrated living, and we would presumably not support it.
3. Enhanced Apartments:
20 self-contained “bachelor-like” units, with bedroom, bathroom, kitchenette, livingroom. Meals & recreation activities provided in “common” amenity space. Personal care & nursing care on-site 24/7.
This is basically a fancy institution. People have their own units, but care is provided and directed by staff — meals are provided communally on a schedule not determined by the person with a disability.
VCH says that “groups of enhanced apartments may be located in market residential, social housing or stand alone buildings.” (my bolding).
Please note that groups of 20 units in a stand alone building equals wards with 20 people in each ward in an institution (with their own bathrooms & livingroom!)
People do not have control in this model.
It is not clear if this model falls under the Hospital Act.
We do not support this option.
4. Transitional Housing & Shared Supported Living:
- Units with ~7 residents, each with their own bedroom & bathroom.
- Livingroom & dining areas are common.
- Units are grouped together within a building with shared therapeutic/activity space.
- Personal care & nursing support available 24/7 between units.
- Goal is “overall rehabilitative approach to assist residents in developing the skills to live in the most independent setting they are comfortable with”.
- “Anticipated length of residency between 6 and 30 months; however some individuals may stay longer”. (my bolding)
This model is for people who need high levels of care & would benefit from support to develop independent living skills, & who need 24/7 personal care/nursing help.
This is a less fancy institution.
– Units are not self-contained, and people can’t even cook or have their own meal preparation.
– It makes no sense to put people into an institution to learn “independent living skills” – you don’t learn independent living skills in an institution.
– The wording is very misleading. The units are called “houses”, so it implies that there will be seven people living in a house in the community. But then it says that “houses are grouped together within a building”. A house cannot be grouped within a building – they’re using the word “house” to give the impression of living in the community, but in fact, it’s a ward or unit or floor in a building, which is a segregated institution.
– Another misleading statement is that this model “may follow the Green House Project” model.
- VCH does not say this will follow the Green House Project model, but only that it may follow it. The Pearson residents have asked for the Green House model for those who prefer shared living. But VCH is not committing to that – they are only saying it might happen.
- It’s not possible to have the Green House Project model in an institutional building. The whole idea of the Green House Project is to de-institutionalize seniors and enable them to live in houses in the community – ie the Green House Project is small intentional communities of elders & staff living in houses integrated in the community. The model proposed by VCH with different floors or wards in a segregated building, is not the Green House Project Model and cannot be made into the Green House Project Model.
– It is not clear if this option is under the Hospital Act.
– We do not support this option.
5. Complex Residential Care
- Standard institution with slightly fancier features than current Pearson.
- Units of 10-15 residents, each with private bedroom & bathroom.
- The institution will include 10-15 of these units or wards of residents.
- Shared meals & support services.
- Personal care/nursing staff shared between two units in building.
- This is the same model as Pearson, but with more privacy.
For persons with
- “high medical needs that cannot be managed in their home”
- Dementia and “other cognitive impairments” that can’t be safely managed at home
- Highly dependent personal care needs or unpredictable nursing care needs.
Again the wording is very misleading
Each unit is described as a “house”, but they are not houses: “Houses are grouped within a building”
A house cannot be grouped within a building. The wording “house” is used to give the impression of living in a house in the community, but the reality is very different.
VCH says the GreenHouse Project Model can be used here.
VCH has made no commitment to the GreenHouse model which is what the Pearson residents want for those who prefer to live in a group setting
The Green House Project Model cannot be used in an institution. It is specifically a model for separate actual houses, located in the community among other single family houses – an essential feature of the Green House Model is that they are real houses integrated in the community – ie they are not segregated and not distinguishable from other houses in the community.
People would be included in this institutional model who we know can live in the community and who have the legal right to live in the community as per the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.
We do not support this model.
Please note that VCH has not been clear about who can or will live in these five housing continuum options. They have made no commitment to people having their own choice.
They have also included persons with disabilities in all three institutional models (housing continuum options 3, 4 & 5), and they are not clear about criteria.
Please go online & provide your feedback as quickly as you can before the June 21 deadline.
PLEASE NOTE: The consultation questions are NOTabout housing for people with disabilities. It is actually about three models of site design: core, continuum & cluster. None of these designs have any relevance to people with disabilities.
In order to register your concern about the housing options for people with disabilities, you have to go to theend of the consultation, and fill out the “any other comments” box.
It really speaks volumes about the attention to people with disabilities that it’s actually hard to even comment on how this re-development affects people with disabilities.
Another mind boggling point is that VCH has spent huge amounts of money & effort ensuring the site meets best practices for water management, cutting edge energy management, environmental sustainability, local food production etc, but they’re not ensuring best practices for people with disabilities.
Vancouver Coastal Health does not seem to get that it’s not the bathrooms or livingrooms that determine if something is an institution; it is who is in control and who makes decisions about the person’s life.
Please help us stop Vancouver Coastal Health from replacing the George Pearson Centre institution with three institutions!
Please go to http://vancouver.ca/your-government/pearson.aspx
- click on the Documents tab
- then click Part 3: Whole Health Elements: Harmonize
- read the four pages titled A Home For Everyone.
- Options 3, 4 and 5 are institutions. They are not global best practises for housing for people with disabilities.
We need you to tell the City of Vancouver this by no later than June 21!
Go to http://vancouver.ca/your-government/pearson.aspx
- Click on the Progress tab
- Then click on the Share Your Views box
- Then fill out the questionnaire
Important!! At the end, in the any other comments box
Write a calm, clear letter objecting to Options 3, 4 & 5 of the Housing Continuum because they are institutions and NOT global best practise.
Please cite as much credible evidence about that as you see fit.
Remember!! The any other comments box is at the end of the consultation. Remember to keep going to the end, where the “any other comments box” is!!
Please do above ASAP because we have a June 21 deadline!
Please ask other like-minded people to do above as well.
The City counts feedback from consultations, so it really makes a difference.