Monday, February 21, 2011

Mental Health Consumers Picket In Fort Worth Over Paradise Center Closure Scandal

Has the Fort Worth Star-Telegram had an article about the Paradise Center closure that I somehow missed? Or is this often sad excuse for a town's newspaper of record not reporting this particular news?

I just got an email with the latest Press Release about the Paradise Center Fort Worth Scandal

Mental Health Consumers Picket 
MHMR of Tarrant Co. Headquarters 
CEO Dr. Jim McDermott 
Return Their
Properties and Their Dignity as PEOPLE

Today, Monday 2/21/11    11:00am  3840 Hulen, FW

Fort Worth, Texas-- 02/21/11  

One weekend after MHMR of Tarrant County's CEO and his executive team's shocking and upsetting decision to take over their community center and locked them out of their home away from home of over a decade (as recorded and reported last Friday evening by WFAA/Channel 8 News) the leaders and supporters of Paradise Center Inc., ( -- an autonomous 501/c/3 non-profit Organization dedicated to helping people with serious mental illness with their recovery and reintegration back into the community as full citizens AND one of the few such organizations in the nation/world that is run by people living with serious mental illnesses-- are going to the offices of the CEO and his executive team to picket and demand that they return every item of property that belong to their outstanding Organization.

The list is long but include operational equipments like computers and printers, office desks and  pool and ping pong tables, a closet of puzzles and games, expensive arts and crafts supplies, bins of prizes used for weekly Bingo games  - all items donated to Paradise Center, Inc. or purchased with monetary donations given by groups and individuals to Paradise Center, Inc.

The leaders who operate Paradise Center, Inc. are anxious to retrieve their possessions as well as the promised funding from MHMR so they can relocate and continue to offer vital peer support services through a community center to the hundreds of members who consider Paradise Center the home away from home.

By simply doing these two basic things, Dr. Jim McDermott and MHMRTC can minimize the damage that has already started as a result of the sudden and unexplained take over of this well-established and reputable community center and the organization that has operated it for over 12 years.

The public and the media should be concerned about the manner in which these mental health consumers have been treated by this tax-payer funded organization that CEO Dr. McDermott leads.

Make no mistake, what is and will be operated out of 505 S.Jennings Avenue IS NOT ANYTHING CLOSE TO THE COMMUNITY CENTER THAT PARADISE CENTER HAS OPERATED.  The staff in the building are not Paradise Center staff, they do not operate by Paradise Center's philosophy and are not experienced in operating a consumer-run organization.

Paradise Center, Inc., while homeless and in exile at this moment, is still alive and determined to fight to recover our properties, our good name, and our promised operational grant.

MHMR and CEO Dr. Jim McDermott can restore this "Paradise lost" by acting with decency.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This must be pretty serious because we drove by on Hulen this morning and honked in support of several people in yellow shirts holding signs saying "honk 4 justice for Paradise". An important looking man and woman were trying break them up or something.

On our way back the group was still there but with a news cameraman obviously interviewing some of them.

Keep us updated because this is both interesting and disturbing.