Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Moonlighter took disabled men to job

Four mentally disabled men who were supposed to be in a group home were found in the gas station where their caretaker was working a second job Sunday night, The Patriot-Ledger of Quincy reported yesterday. Antonio Pierre-Louis put two men in a storage room, one outside in a van, and another in the office of the Granite Street Mobil Station. He will be fired by Brockton Area Multi-Services Inc., which runs the group home. The agency, as well as the Disabled Persons Protection Commission, will conduct an investigation. Police will not charge Pierre-Louis with a crime, the newspaper reported.


Let me start by saying that I don't believe that this employee exhibited the best judgement in taking his clients off site. I do think we need to examine what value is placed on this sort of work which is difficult, emotionally draining, often dangerous and which comes with more responsibility than a lot of people are normally accustomed to. The average care worker in my state makes somewhere around $10-$12 and hour. The hours are not always great (taking care of the elderly/children/the mentally retarded is not a 9-5, Monday to Friday job), and you're stuck if your replacements don't make it in. That this person obviously was concerned enough about the people he was taking care of to bring them with him to his other job (in spite of the conditions described - and I wonder how much different they were from the home situation) says something about a lot of folks who work this realm.

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