This is a follow-up to our correspondence with Kim Fraser, Executive Director of the ADAMHS Board. We are trying to understand why an non-profit agency that has been serving Lake County residents for over 40 years is now pushed to the sidelines while a Geauga agency providing the same services is given preference. We have been speaking to the Forbes House and this is our current understanding of the problem. We are, of course, allowing Ms. Fraser a chance to respond before we discuss the matter with the Lake County commissioners and spread the word to the community.
We thought that this schedule may shed some light onto the issue at hand. It is the summary of contracts paid by the ADAMHS Board for the fiscal years 2013 – 2017. It may give some credence to the notion that the smaller agencies are being squeezed out. It has been reported that the two largest entities, Beacon Health and Crossroads, are merging. (you may have to rotate the schedule to view it properly)
ADAMHS Board distributions
Here is the email sent today to Ms. Fraser:
March 24, 2018
Dear Ms. Fraser:
Please let me know if we have a correct understanding of the problem between the Forbes House and the ADAMHS Board.
The Forbes House has been successfully serving Lake County for over 40 years, and has received funding from the ADAMHS Board for over 10 years.
You had expressed interest in consolidating the Forbes House with the Geauga County’s Women’s shelter. However, there was little to no interest from the Forbes House Board in any merger.
When the Forbes House declined to merge with the Geauga County’s shelter, you basically wrote them off, and chose to support the Geauga Center, although the ADAMHS Board is required to spend its money in Lake County.
Repeated requests by the officials of the Forbes House for meetings with you to discuss any concerns that you had were completely rebuffed by you. In effect, you had already made up your mind that if your demands were not met for a merger then you would no longer support the Forbes House.
When questions were raised about the Forbes House, your standard response has been “Forbes House did not apply for funding.” Although, you had supported them in the past, you did not believe it was your role to reach out to them because they were not agreeing to your demands for the merger.
The ADAMHS Board’s contract with the Geauga County’s shelter does not promote collaboration with the Lake County Forbes House shelter. Instead, it has created a competitive environment, and awkward decisions for Lake County schools and courts on which shelter to choose to provide assistance to the families in need.
In addition, you have influenced the administrative staff at the Geauga County shelter to coerce Forbes House staff into referring clients to their location at Beacon Health for counseling services (a duplication of the Lake County Forbes House services), thereby justifying the use of Lake County funds received by the Geauga County domestic violence shelter.
Although as taxpayers we can appreciate attempts to eliminate duplication of services, we are a bit perplexed why a long standing, seemingly competent Lake County agency has been treated so badly without good faith efforts on the part of the ADAMHS Board to resolve any differences.
We welcome your response.
Lobbyists for Citizens
8196 Rainbow Drive
Concord Township, OH 44077