The city is taking steps to ensure that people living in Hamilton’s licensed residential care facilities (RCF) have a voice.
Members of the emergency and community services committee have given initial approval to a motion from Stoney Creek Coun. Brad Clark to establish a residential care facility complaint liaison.
Clark says it’s about ensuring that residents, or their advocates and care providers, have a confidential way to voice concerns about their care or living conditions.
Right now, Clark says residents “are reluctant to file complaints with municipal law enforcement because they don’t want to be evicted.”
He says they are told that if they complain, “they’ll throw you out on the street and you won’t have a place to live.”
Clark says that leaves them “living in conditions that are less than appropriate, certainly don’t meet our standards.”
The creation of the residential care facility complaint liaison still needs final approval from city council, but the position would receive complaints, concerns or questions about the care provided to residents of Hamilton’s licensed RCFs from individual residents or anyone acting on their behalf.
That could include roommates, friends and family members, staff within the homes, health-care providers and employees with social service organizations.
City staff would be asked to report back with details about the process for handling complaints or concerns.
Clark says he was prompted into action by the recent death of a 28-year-old man who was evicted from an RCF just weeks before his body was found on the roof of Jackson Square this spring.
Hamilton police have said the cause of the man’s death was not suspicious.