Grand Rapids Home for Veterans

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

This Veterans Day, Michigan has the dubious distinction of having its military veterans among those receiving the least government benefits of any in the 50 states.

Michigan’s more than 650 thousand veterans get about $3,400 on average in benefits compared with a national average of nearly five thousand dollars a year.   

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Update 4p.m.

The home’s administrator Sara Dunne says the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs just completed an annual inspection of the home in April. “They will not leave the homes if they feel there’s sub-standard being provided,” Dunne said.

There is no abuse and neglect going on at the home,” Dunne said, “There’s very strong language of what abuse and neglect is in long term care and there have been no instances of that at all.”

user anonymonous / Flickr

Veterans' homes in Michigan could see an increase of about $1.7 million in next year's state budget.

Jeff Barnes is the director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs agency.

"The state is currently ill equipped to deal with some of the metal health challenges that some of our veterans face," Barnes said. "This is an investment that we feel is good for the members of the homes but it is also starts to helps us deal with some of the future care concerns that we have."

The extra funds could also help "increase the number of skilled nursing that we have to also address some of the issues we have with mental health and psychiatric care in the homes and then put some additional controls in place to make sure we are doing our do diligence with pharmaceutical controls" says Barnes.

The budget is expected to see a vote in the legislature in the coming weeks.

-Lindsay Hall, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Revamping vets' services

Apr 7, 2013

Michigan's new Veterans Affairs Agency director says the state needs to do a better job connecting its nearly 700,000 veterans to services.

michigan.gov

This week nearly 150 nursing assistants are getting laid off at a state-run home for veterans.

The Grand Rapids Home for Veterans is one of two state-run hospitals for veterans in Michigan. More than 700 veterans are housed there.

“It’s a continuation of a process that we started back in October 2011,” said Suzanne Thelen, Public Information Officer for Michigan’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Michigan.gov

Governor Rick Snyder’s plan to save money by privatizing nursing assistants at a state-run home for veterans is legal. The state’s Court of Appeals issued the decision Friday.

The Grand Rapids Home for Veterans is one of two state-run hospitals for vets in Michigan. More than 700 are housed there.

Governor Rick Snyder privatized about 170 nursing assistants at the home last year to save around $4 million.