I am writing in response to the Feb. 8 cartoon regarding licensed versus unlicensed residential care facilities. At first I was not sure how to take the tone of the cartoon. After much thought, yes, I do feel better knowing that the residential care facility moving in across from my home is fully licensed. I can sleep better at night knowing that the people who care for my new neighbors — all of whom are severely handicapped children — have background checks, training and an organization above them that maintains oversight. I feel better knowing that somebody outside of the facility conducts routine inspections and will investigate complaints in the event of abuse or misconduct.
Unlicensed facilities have none of this. They have no organization that monitors anything that happens inside their home, which is probably why my poor, elderly neighbor had the clothing, television and food stolen that I had given him when he was sent to live in an unlicensed facility. And why there were dead birds and filth throughout the house. It was clear the operators were only in it to make a buck off of the elderly. Many of these facilities operate outside of the law and have no concerns about disregarding basic standards of health, safety and decency.