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Is one of North Carolina’s main systems for housing those with mental illness failing?

A padlock secures the door to the former Clinton House in Sampson County. While open, it was sided for non-functioning locks that allowed a dementia patient to wander freely. Frank Taylor / Carolina Public Press

A Carolina Public Press investigation of adult care homes shows a spectrum of problems, including a “gaping hole” in North Carolina’s oversight of housing for those with mental illness. Beginning in Jan. 2017, Carolina Public Press researched and reported on housing issues faced by those living with mental illness across North Carolina. The investigative reporting staff at the nonprofit news organization reviewed three years of public records for all of the 1,200 adult care homes in the state, traveled to facilities across the state and interviewed dozens of advocates, regulators, facility managers and others. As a result, CPP published this series, beginning in July 2017, detailing the vast inconsistencies and troubling issues facing the regulation and oversight of these private, for-profit facilities, which, in North Carolina, serve as a primary source of housing for individuals with mental illness who need access to 24-hour care.

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A padlock secures the door to the former Clinton House in Sampson County. While open, it was sided for non-functioning locks that allowed a dementia patient to wander freely. Frank Taylor / Carolina Public Press

A federal case: Housing for mentally ill adults pits NC against US government in ongoing legal battle

While an investigation has shown adult care homes have serious problems, a federal lawsuit says the state isn’t doing enough to develop alternatives.

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