Just three weeks after a federal judge reaffirmed his ruling halting the transfer of residents from the Warren G. Murray Center in Centralia without guardian approval, the home to which two wards of the state were moved last week is already found in disrepair.
Reports Tuesday of a leaking roof at the C.A.I.L. operated home in the 40 block of Ridge Road in Centralia led a reporter from Withers Broadcasting to the quiet Centralia residential neighborhood, where the reporter found large blue tarps stretched across the roof of the home.
According to neighbors familiar with the layout inside the home, the tarp on the north end of the house extends across the bedroom area of the house. The tarp in the center of the roof, they say, covers the living room and kitchen areas of the home, and possibly part of the laundry room.
Department of Human Services Spokeswoman Januari Smith confirms neighbors’ reports that the tarps were placed on the roof Tuesday morning. Smith says C.A.I.L. plans to solicit bids for a new roof, but the time frame is largely dependent upon the weather.
She says an independent licensed inspector filed an inspection report on May 23, 2013, saying the roof of the Ridge Road home would need to be replaced within the next few years.
The recent heavy rainfall, commented Smith, has led to the roof of the home leaking, but that no damage has been noted inside. She says the inspection noted no signs of mold.
Withers Broadcasting has confirmed developmentally disabled females were moved from the Murray Center and into the home on June 26. Neighbors report one resident uses a walker and the other is in a wheelchair and that neither resident participates in daytime activities outside of the home.
Located on a quiet cul-de-sac, the home is nestled among well-kept single family homes. Many neighbors are concerned about having the community integrated living arrangement (CILA) home in their neighborhood, not so much because of the residents, but because of the employees.
Multiple neighbors, who have asked to not be named, report 15-20 vehicles have been parked at the CILA home on multiple occasions, for what appeared to be employee training or orientation.
Neighbors with whom the reporter spoke, said they are concerned with what the CILA home will do to their property values. Even though it is the residence of the developmentally disabled individuals living there, the neighbors assert it is also a business located in the middle of a residential zoned neighborhood.
One neighbor says she observed a male employee walking repeatedly around the circle at the end of the cul-de-sac, looking closely at each home he passed them again and again.
C.A.I.L. care giver facing felony abuse charge
On Wednesday, felony charges were filed in Marion County Court against a C.A.I.L. employee. Dylan J. Altom, 23, of Centralia, is charged criminal abuse, or neglect of a physically disabled person in his care, for an alleged incident while he worked for another private care provider in Centralia.
According to the court record, the case was opened March 15, 2013, by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Altom reportedly never returned to the private facility following the alleged March incident and was terminated shortly thereafter.
ILDPH records show that despite an active investigation into Altom, the agency found him eligible for employment on June 1, 2013, and that he started working for C.A.I.L. on June 10, 2013. It is not clear for which of the C.A.I.L. homes in Centralia he works.
The Ridge Road location is not the only CILA C.A.I.L. is operating in Centralia. Another home located in the 270 block of Greenview Road was in the news in May, when one of its two developmentally disabled residents was taken to the hospital following an alleged attack by the other resident.
Only one staff member was working at the time of the reported assault, and called 9-1-1 and said she had tried to separate the two residents, but they were too strong for her.
Just weeks before the 9-1-1 call, it was reported that the home had to undergo renovations per the fire marshal and was the location of a failed placement weeks earlier due to standing water, weak floors, mold and other issues.