When the Community Mental Health agency in Ionia County decided that, because of the COVID Crisis, they would stop providing living supports and respite services to families with severely disabled children and adults at home, CT’s Joelle Gurnoe-Adams would have none of it. One of the families impacted were her clients.
Attorney Gurnoe-Adams, with help from her friends from Michigan Protection and Advocacy Services, filed immediate appeals. They argued that the CMH agency was wrong in determining that these care services were not essential, and further, that the agency violated the law by cutting services without giving notice and without determining the individual needs of each family.
As a result, the cuts were reversed, and the State issued policy guidance to assure that this mistake won’t be repeated elsewhere. “Lauren Hendrick and her parents are the real heroes here,” said Attorney Gurnoe-Adams. “Both of Lauren’s parents are employed in essential occupations. They are working to keep the rest of us safe, and at the same time taking care of their special needs child. Cutting off services for them at any time would be wrong, but to do so during this crisis is completely unacceptable. Thanks so much to MPAS, and especially Attorney Kyle Williams, for jumping in on short notice and helping us out.”