Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Saskatoon doesn't know where the homes are

Saskatoon city council voted to give $84,000 to two care homes in Saskatoon. The total cost of the homes for at-risk youth is $869,000, but most of that has been covered by federal and provincial governments. However, the organization that runs the homes, EGADZ, also has two other homes in the neighbourhood of Hampton Village and another two in the Dundonald area. As the concentration of care homes in a neighbourhood became an issue for debate, councillors realized the city doesn't even have the facts.

City administration's map of care homes in Saskatoon shows a roughly even distribution across the city. But [Councilor] Heidt questioned administration as to why at least seven Dundonald care homes don't show up on the map.

"If it's not accurate, why give it to us?" Heidt said. "Let's talk about the facts. There's nothing wrong with these homes as long as they're moved around."

Paul Gauthier, the city's general manager of community services, said there's a simple reason the map is incomplete.

"We do not know the list (of care homes) by a longshot," he said, adding only care homes assessed as such would come to the city's attention.

As the welfare state expands, governments continue to dole out money even after they've lost track of who's doing what and whether such expenditures are even worthy.

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