Missing Checks Cornerstone-No Therapist for Almost a Year-Purge of Good Therapists and Psychiatrists

Posted on 06/28/2018
The Long-Term Services and Supports State Scorecard, One Year In: Keep ‘Picking Up the Pace.’

Thank you so much for calling and emailing.  I had been in the hospital and have been very discouraged.  I have trouble hearing on the phone but need an Ombudsman for years of problems with Cornerstone Montgomery which I have written about in complaints for years.  For recent problems I sent the following information to Carmela George and Social Security today. I have made some further edits since sending.
I am a resident at Mental Health Agency run by Cornerstone Montgomery.  Our $82.00 checks due on the 8th of the month are still missing and the staff and supervisors are still blaming the County government for not sending the checks.  That seems unlikely, it would be more credible that accounting personnel is on vacation or otherwise shortstaffed.
There also seems to have been several purges with the psychiatrists and therapists who have always tried to help patients and it seems that the Residential admin people have a purge of therapists going on. I have not had a therapist for almost a year though keep requesting one. The only time see therapist is when they want me to sign PCP form and the therapists Andrea Lowsouski and David Peet said they were only seeing me for the PCP –David Peet told me months ago that in a few weeks I would have a therapist of  one of their new hires, I waited for 2 months or more and Mr. Peet’s promise of a therapist at TAFT location never came through, I moved and have been told for 2 months that I will have to wait for a few weeks for other new hires to begin at SOUTHPORT location and when I request information keep stringing me along with “in a few weeks.”  Other questions and problems also stonewalled or strung along. Waste of the limited energy I have to try to get answers or help.
There is a requirement that residential clients meet with a therapist at least once every 3 months, Cornerstone is in violation of this as well.  Since clients live at a below poverty level line with the money that is given back from Social Security, the missing checks are the most important for clients to have food but there needs also to be a thorough investigation into mismanagement of Benefits by a Representative Payee at Cornerstone Montgomery Mental Health Residences and the welfare of helpless patients or as they call us “clients.”
I have written about years of mismanagement at https://cornerstonemontgomeryblog.wordpress.com/, I have filed grievances but not much done and contacted oversight agencies but a thorough investigation is needed including the retribution of placing me in Norbeck House with 5 feet of living space and the theft of my art supplies by Keith Ellis, Bel Pre supervisor, who lied to get me out of the very nice ranch house at Valleywood because of Pam Gueron’s harrassment of him as well as me and retribution for years of previous complaints about Mr. Ellis, never really addressed by Cornerstone Montgomery.
Thank you for anything you can do, I know that funding is a terrible problem but Cornerstone Montgomery aka St. Luke’s House/Threshold has been offering very substandard care to many clients endangering lives and some clients have died.  I was hospitalized again for somatic issues at the beginning of June 2018 and the lack of food and negligence of client’s emotional and daily living needs of me and some of the very sick and suffering patients around me month after month calls for further investigation. How many patients have been without therapist for well over 6 months and how does it contribute to problems that clients are left to deal with other clients acting out because of lack of basic care?
At Pettit House some clients without families to bring them food seem to be hungry and stealing food continues to be a problem but feel bad because refrigerator almost empty and clients waiting and waiting for checks.  Asked Ebony yesterday about Nourish Now which I have requested several times and gave up after non-answers, asked her for myself and other clients to get Nourish Now food and she said the ususual response you can offer it but if clients refuse nothing she can do and I emphasized that I was ASKING AGAIN FOR MYSELF FOR NOURISH NOW FOOD.
The supervisor Bill Marshall gives the same statement about offering and can lead a horse to water and non-answers or statements that Cornerstone is not responsible if one client harrasses another for cigarettes or male clients come down UNINVITED to my room when the rules are no male clients downstairs.  Bill did try to stop this and it worked for awhile but told him that I disagreed that it was a client’s responsibility to deal with it if other clients break rules and asked why staff is here 16 hours a day if there is nothing they can do and he wanted one of my goals to be standing up for myself but I think that part of the care offered should be help with these problems which is exacerbated by the lack of contact aside from meds and driving with clients in emotional needs and to help budget money and other necessary things which are neglected.  It makes for much more pressure on all clients along with late checks is depressing and energy depleting.
I had thought that in our meeting there was agreement that Cornerstone would reimburse me but Bill denied this in a meeting 2 weeks ago.  I was to send him a list of the art supplies missing, some of which I wrote and had photos of but the main thing is a box with my oils and also many color pencils and oil pastels and paper also important and was discouraged by the number of things lost and though it would be a waste of time to gather the materials to send to Bill but I am going to do it in the next few days and we will see if it will be another useless effort on my part.
I am so glad that the patients at Norbeck House have window air conditioners now, the heat made me very sick and contributed to my hospitalization.  I am glad I now live at Pettit House and have a room of my own but I am a professional artist and Keith Ellis, supervisor of Bel Pre refused to move my art supplies so now that I have a relatively peaceful environment, I still can’t work because of missing art supplies.
I, like many others, are afraid of further retribution for complaining but at this point, nothing else I can do, I have tried contacting Bill first and the response to my complaint about Keith Ellis by Administration was an attack on my ability to function, with no acknowledgements of the many complaints I have made over the year about Mr. Ellis to Cornerstone and when they fail to respond appropriately to other agencies and the possiblity that Mr. Ellis lied to get me out of psychiatric residences and no one talked to me to see if this was a case of retribution for complaints – this document was so nasty in tone, and left out circumstances I was living under and the refusal of Cornerstone to act to protect me from Pam Gueron’s vicious harrassment, I was too depressed to read it and respond.
Thank you for anything you can do.
Linda Leonard
Ebony went home ill today, she and Romeo have looked very tired since I have been here and rarely say much after being given non answers because I know there is not much they can do about most things.  Romeo was gone for several weeks then showed up only one time more than a week ago, said he had been on vacation but haven’t seen him since and the only other permanent staff, Shannon, has not been seen for a week, she did not say she was going on vacation and is usually very friendly.  There have been substitutes for several weeks.
Online sites rating Cornerstone as a place to work on INDEED and GLASSDOORS and others from current and former employees say that the pay for the staffers who ACTUALLY MEET WITH CLIENTS is so low they qualify for Nourish Now also.  I think this discrepancy in pay from Administration which may be bloated shows the lack of concern for clients.  One employee mentioned how hard it was on clients not to have continuing care from same RC and few Rehab Counselors lasting even a year reasons should be looked at including training and the way they are treated and it’s impact on clients who have been treated as less than the dust for many years at St. Luke’s/Threshold as well, Cornerstone cannot continue to neglect problems by telling clients and families “That maybe they don’t belong in the program.” The problem are so horrendous including patients dying, having stroke like my former housesmate very gentle Peggy Wyss after years of harrassment by housemate Gerda Sejour and supervisor Keith Ellis now because for a decade none of the issues have been addressed.

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