My letter to Gov. Charlie Crist

I have been feeling it lately. Just when I was getting over my own feeling-down-and-out, the earthquake in Haiti has put it all in perspective. I am amazed at how the people of Haiti come together spontaneously, singing and praying, all in the midst of the most unimaginable suffering. I know it is all relative, I have a difficult situation and I could lose my house, and my income and career have suffered from the circumstances of my life and the times we are living in, but I am ashamed of myself when I think of how much suffering these people are enduring, and how much death and devastation they have experienced so violently and suddenly. I think it is hard for most Americans to put themselves in the place of the majority of the worlds poor, it’s hard for me to imagine what it would be like to have suffer and watch my children suffer for lack of food or water, and I don’t mean just Haiti of late. Still we are the Nation that has the notion and the means, if not the responsibility, to meet the needs of the suffering, and we have the momentum of our massive infrastructure, technology and workforce to accomplish whatever we put our minds to. What is our intention? Rhetorically. What are we trying to accomplish? Is what we continue to do still serving us?
It’s true… I’m frustrated. I’ve tried to keep my own stuff out of it. I’ll have to use another blog to say things that I won’t bum you out with here. But the letter that I wrote to Gov. Crist I am including here. I did get a swift auto-response to the letter from the Gov.’s auto-responder, thanks, and then within another few days I got a phone call from a very nice women who has promised to get back to me regarding an issue dealing with what are called Med-Waiver Waiting Lists and a Med-Waiver program called Consumer Directed Care. Here is the email:

Dear Governor Crist,
Thank you for taking the time to address my concern. My Grandson Michael
has been in my care and custody for nearly 3 years and since his birth I
have been consistent and primary care giver. I do and have done everything
conceivable to provide for him and his special needs. Michael has a brain
abnormality that has left him severely developmentally disabled, the
specifics of which have been well documented and are available upon
request. We have now found ourselves in desperation for a solution to our
financial difficulties. I have disabling back issues and am a client of the
vocational rehabilitation system. The typical routine of a working class
head of household has become increasingly difficult for me as a single
grandparent raising a child with special needs. It is well known that the
care givers of the disabled have major challenges to employment and I have
found myself in that situation. I have pursued what seems like endless
trails of paperwork in pursuit of various resources, with very limited
success in getting what is known as a med-waiver. We seem to have been lost
in a black-hole of
waiting lists and paperwork. We’re in a vulnerable position and I am
desperately trying to keep my home and care for Michael the way he needs
and deserves. We are requesting the approval of our application for
Med-Waiver/Consumer Directed Care. This would give us the most flexibility
to suit our specific needs. I would appreciate hearing back from someone as
soon as possible as we seem to be running out of options.
The Agency for Persons with Disabilities has a case record for him and our
counselor and main contact in Jacksonville is Scott Henderson and he has
Michaels records on file:

Scott Henderson
Human Services Counselor III
Agency for Persons with Disabilities
Phone: 904-992-2434
Fax: 904-992-2430

I urge you to act on our behalf in order to make our lives sustainable. I
ask for your assistance with much humility and gratitude and with an
understanding of the immense amount of need that there is in the world, and
so I ask that you assist me in providing care for at least this one of us
that is in the greatest of need.

Brian Crescenzo

76 Sanford St.
St. Augustine, Fl., 32084

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