Cleveland Orca House ceiling collapse causes concerns over safety and funding

CLEVELAND - A ceiling collapse at Cleveland's Orca House drug rehabilitation facility has some concerned about safety and funding at the 120-year-old home and other locations.

Pictures of the collapse and other issues were sent to News 5 by a concerned mother who's son was receiving treatment at East 89th Street facility.

The mother, who didn't want to be identified, told News 5 she was concerned about her son's safety.

Ocra House Executive Director Greg Uhland acknowledged there are maintenance issues at the facility, but said the problems are caused by a lack of funding and not negligence.

Uhland said changes are needed in the Institute for Mental Diseases rule, which is part of the Medicare Medicaid Act.

Uhland said the current rule wouldn't allow for Medicare funding of rehab centers that have more than 16 beds and explained that a change is desperately needed.

"The ceiling above it collapsed and half of the room the ceiling came down," said Uhland.

"If the Medicaid rule changed, that would free-up Medicaid dollars for programs like Orca House, and that would go a long way with helping us deal with the lack of resources."

Black On Black Crime Presidents Al Porter, who's agency deals with drug abuse on streets, believes it's hazardous that rehab facilities like Orca House can be in such disrepair.

He believes it's critical drug rehab facilities get the funding they need, especially since the need for drug rehab has exploded due to the recent heroin epidemic.

"This hurtful and it's shameful because I would have expected for the funding to go into those facilities," said Porter.

"Treatment is supposed to be a step-up.  It's supposed to be an extreme deterrent, and you're supposed to be in the condition to at least get help.  Right now that doesn't look like it at all

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