(PHOTO AND STORY: KHQ.COM)
127 beds could soon be empty and the people who fill them could soon be on our streets. Employees at The Carlyle in downtown Spokane say they're concerned about the plans to transform the facility from a treatment center into a halfway house.
Pioneer Human Services, who have run the Carlyle Care House for the last six years, told residents and staff Wednesday that in October they plan on turning the assisted living facility into a halfway house. That means people currently living there were going to have to find a new place to live. It was a decision Pioneer spokesperson Hillary Young says ultimately came down to money.
"It's a high level of care, it's a costly and increasingly expensive model of care primarily funded through Medicaid, and rates don't necessarily cover the cost to provide these services," she said.
Mental health therapist Ursula Heflick, who works at the Carlyle, says she's concerned about the nearly 130 residents there who suffer from mental health issues.
"Their lives will be disrupted, if not even destroyed," Heflick said.
Pioneer says they aren't kicking anyone out, saying they'll work with residents to find them a new place to live.
"We are committed to not adding to the homeless population. We are not kicking anyone out," Young said. "We have a long-term commitment to our residents and we are working with each of the individually to find the best place for them.
It's a decision many hope they reconsider.
"I hope that The Carlyle will remain The Carlyle in its present form," Heflick said. "Because this is a population in need, there are a lot of people in this situation who need a place like The Carlyle."