'This is a crisis': Westland group home closure leaves mother scrambling to find housing for daughter

A mother needs help moving to a more accommodating home for her daughter, whose group home is closing due to staffing shortages.

Lisa Brooks' daughter Malicka has been living in the Parkgrove Group Home in Westland for 12 years because she is severely multiply impaired, non-vocal, and in a wheelchair. However, 30-year-old Malicka now has to move.

"They want her gone yesterday, actually," Brooks said. "I felt like I was drowning, but she has nobody but me, so I had to find a float from somewhere because if I drown she has nothing and nobody, and I'm not going to let that happen."

Eric Doeh, the president and CEO of Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network, said staffing shortages have lead to many group home closures. He said of the more than 200 group homes in his network, 30 have closed in the past year.

"This is no longer an issue – it is a crisis," he said. "Most of these persons are making somewhere between $12-15, and when you think about it, when you can go to a McDonald's or any one of those other places to earn even more."

They're now starting a pilot program to increase pay for direct care workers - the people who care for people like Malicka.

"If a person can walk in a drugstore or a Walmart and get $15 an hour, surely somebody doing work as important as this can get a little bit more because this is important work," Brooks said.

Now that Malicka's home is closing, Brooks is trying to move to a home that will better accommodate her daughter.

She is looking to rent a home in Redford or Livonia, close to Malicka's services. She needs a month and a half security deposit, money to rent a truck to move, and money to build a wheelchair ramp. Brooks also needs to get a new wheelchair that can collapse and fit in her car since she'll have to transport Malicka to her services.

"We have a lot of difficulties ahead of us but I'm her mother, that's it, that's all - I'm her mother," Brooks said.

A GoFundMe page has been created to raise funds. Donate here.