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Save Grant's home

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By Brenda Locklear

Grant Grogan gets up every morning at 7 a.m. and with help from the group home staff, gets showered, shaved and dressed for his job at SCARC, Inc. in Bushnell.

Grant loves his job. He loves his friends, the group home he lives in and the community he has made a life in.

Unfortunately for Grant, who was born with cerebral palsy, that might all disappear - Grant might be whisked away to spend his days in a nursing home.

One of the four clients who lived in the home passed away in recent months and they are still waiting for a new client and funding that will complete the house operating budget.

In a mixed-funding home, the deficiency of that single-client’s funding can devastate the budget - thousands of dollars a month, according to Marsha Perkins, SCARC executive director.

In a recent interview, Grant was emotional as he talked about the possibility of moving to a nursing home. In an earlier interview, done by a staff member at SCARC, Grant shared his concerns if the group home should close.

“What makes me fearful is being in an institution. They stick you in a room, might give you breakfast and lunch, but there’s no interaction with people. Interaction with others is the cornerstone of an individual’s life and well-being. Here, every day is a new day. You never know what’s going to happen, from one minute of every day to the next.”

Grant enjoys getting out with friends that he “loves so very much”. He enjoys going to movies, shopping, and going to church, where “you can pray about things”.

The home is already operating based on a six-client home budget, when they have only four residents, because of state requirements and Perkins was trying to think of a way to help save the group home and keep Grant and the other clients there.

She said Grant, who serves on the SCARC board of directors, was emotional all through the board meeting where he learned he might lose his home.

It was following the board meeting that Perkins said it was the middle of the night and she couldn’t sleep - that’s when the “Home for Bonnie” campaign came to her mind.

Back in 1999, it “was a huge success, in great part due to the Times continous coverage, with that thermometer on front page,” said Perkins. That’s when they were trying to get a group home built for a client who was simply looking for a home to call her own and spend the rest of her days. Thanks to community support, they were able to build a group home where Bonnie and other clients could live.

While staffing is the largest expense in operating the homes, the pay scale is minimal, but they have to keep staff on 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They currently operate two homes with staffing 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“I hope ‘Save Grant’s Home’ works as well because this $10,000 deficit due to the vacant room could easlily be $30,000 before the end of the fiscal year.”

They have to get the spare room filled.

“We simply do not have the funds to cover such a deficit much less to put a new roof on the home. Already we are trying to raise $95,000 just to balance the budget for this year,” Perkins said.

She said the state could wait until their new fiscal year to fille the bed, which means they will be short about $30,000, just in operating the group home.

They’re already battling to raise $95,000 for SCARC itself, so they don’t have extra funds to put toward operating the group home, according to Perkins, who said they are already in a financial crunch.

Along with obtaining the shortfall on client funding and the budget needs for SCARC, the group home needs a new roof and the best quote they’ve gotten is $11,000.

Right now, that means SCARC could really use about $150,000.

While they are working on getting donations for SCARC, there’s only about $270 that has been donated for the group home.

As for Grant’s life here, he answers the telephone in the mornings on Mondays and Fridays and does production inserts on Tuesdays through Thursdays.

Grant loves his job - both aspects, but mostly answering the phones, “Because I get to interact with a lot of people out in the community.”

In that interview by Harrison, she noted that Grant attends Adult Basic Education weekly where he checks Facebook, works on money skills and occasionally prepares speeches. Grant also leads discussions about recent news stories that are, in his words: “good, bad, or indifferent”.

Grant is on the board with full voting privileges and on the front desk phone job, Grant uses a headset and dials the phone with one hand.

Grant gives in-depth testimonials promoting SCARC, Inc. One year in the past, his engagements took him to prison, as well as to a church, a business and a non-profit organization.

Grant is proud of “being alive, being well taken care of and doing the things I can do that I know nobody else can do.”

In spite of his busy schedule, Grant relies on almost total assistance.

Harrison asked Grant what that was like.

“I’ve been dependent on people all my life. I wish I could do more on my own, but I know the good Lord has put me on this earth for a purpose. I don’t know what it is yet, but I wish that other people would experience what I experience; be in my shoes. It’s not easy being me, but I try.”

“I know the budget is tight right now, but if you were in our shoes and knew what we have to deal with on a daily basis, you would always support us. I will tell you straight from the horse’s mouth what’s going on, what we need, and what we deserve.”

 

Brenda Locklear

blocklear@sctnews.com

352-793-2161