• Michael Baker

    I was a client in one of their transitional housing programs in upper Manhattan over 20 years ago. I was homeless at the time I entered the program. I received a lot of blatant disrespect from Heritage Health and Housing. They treated the clients like animals. You either did what they said or you were verbally disrespected or even sent off to a psychiatric hospital under police escort quick, fast and in a hurry. The hospital would then put you on some strong psychiatric medication and you would come back doing the “Thorazine shuffle”. I saw many examples of this during my short time in their culture of hell.

    Meanwhile they are in control of whatever funds you are receiving (SSI, SSDI, Veterans benefits, Food Stamps or Public Assistance) because they made you sign your check over to them. They made the mistake of giving me my check to endorse one day and I took my check and ran for my life before they threw me in the psych hospital. I left the program and lived on the streets again rather than deal with their money hungry, backwards, non-compassionate and idiotic culture.

    I filed several complaints about them at the time but the powers that be decided that since I was a client diagnosed with mental illness, Heritage Health and Housing was justified in their actions towards me, and I was making false accusations against them. Some of the authorities I contacted at that time included The Commission on Quality of Care, Social Security and the New York Police Department but no one listened to me seriously.

    I knew then that one day what they were doing to the clients would catch up with them. Heritage Health and Housing needs to be shutdown not only for its current problems but also for the many lives they have ruined in the past. I was taught that what goes around comes around and if it doesn’t come out in the wash it will come out in the rinse.

    Michael Baker, U.S. Navy, Honorably discharged disabled veteran.

    Thank you for the article