LANSING — State Representatives Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) and Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights) are demanding that the state end its failed experiment of outsourcing resident care services at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans following continued reports of neglect and abuse of the veterans who live there. This week, staffing company J2S said that privatization had failed at the home and that it was moving toward suing the state for breach of contract.

“I thought I couldn’t be surprised by the terrible conditions at the home anymore, but at a recent hearing, resident veterans talked about having to wait for 45 minutes after calling for help and failing to protect residents against violence,” Rep. Brinks said. “It’s clear that the Gov. Rick Snyder and the Republican-led Legislature made a mistake when it privatized the caregivers, once again putting profits over people. The Republicans’ promises of better service for less money have not been fulfilled, and with a lawsuit against the state looming, it’s apparent that this scheme is going to be a drain on taxpayers.”

The deplorable conditions that continue to exist at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans is just another example of how Michigan, under Republican leadership, has let down its veterans and failed to care for them. In another instance, legislative Republicans reduced an appropriation to renovate the home by $4 million. In doing so, they left more than $20 million in matching federal funds on the table.

“I’ve heard Republicans thank our veterans for their service time and again, but showing real thanks takes more than just words,” Rep. Yanez said. “If we truly care about our veterans, we need to show it by giving them the absolute best care we can. Republicans failed to do that when they privatized services at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. It’s time for us to fix that mistake so that the residents at the home will get the care they deserve.”