Oakland’s Respite Home for Children Remains Open


ROYAL OAK — After tremendous advocacy efforts by Judson Center’s Children Lahser Respite Home’s families, program staff, as well as stakeholder Macomb Oakland Resource Center, a three month direct cost contract was negotiated earlier this week to keep the Lahser Respite Home Program open.

Funding reductions to all of Oakland County Community Mental Health Authority programs, including Judson Center’s Children Lahser Respite Home and Macomb Oakland Resource Center, led to an initial decision to close this highly regarded program, unless Judson Center could re-establish through advocacy efforts sufficient funding to sustain the program. Due to community support, negotiation, and the creation of a new contract the home will now remain open at least from October through Dec. 31.

This direct cost contract represents nearly a 10 percent reduction in Judson Center program revenue effective Oct. 1 of this year. During this initial three month period, average occupancy will be assessed to determine program viability with the option for an additional month to month interim contract from January through March 2015, if sufficient utilization of the program is maintained.

Judson Center and Macomb Oakland Resource Center representatives met with affected families Oct. 8 to share the great news that the program would remain open, and that it is imperative the home establish sufficient utilization/funding for it’s programs long-term sustainability. All parties are aware that the program remains at risk for closure unless a sustainable plan is established.