Searching for Answers in Time of Sorrow

Headline from the Columbia Daily Tribune, April 25, 2017: “Fulton Police Department Confirms Missing Man’s Death”

The article goes on to say, “The Fulton Police Department said Tuesday that a body found inside a container filled with concrete in a Fulton storage unit was likely that of 31-year-old Carl DeBrodie, who was reported missing from the Second Chance group home in Fulton on April 17. A relative of a missing Fulton man found dead Monday said she suspects a lack of oversight may have contributed to his death. He had mental disabilities and was a ward of the state, said Rebecca Bell, a cousin. He also had difficulty communicating and was legally blind, she said.”

The news headlines seem to report tragedies every day. This story, however, has everyone involved in serving people with disabilities searching for answers and scrutinizing standards, practices, policies and procedures.

As an organization that supports people with disabilities to achieve their highest potential, Community Living, Inc. can only express our alarm and sadness in response to the news about this young man with disabilities who was found deceased in Callaway County earlier this spring. While none of the parties involved in this case are in any way associated with Community Living, we are deeply troubled to learn of any situation where the rights, respect and safety of anyone with a disability were devalued, especially since he was involved in a system where this surely could have, and should have, been prevented.

Community Living is committed to excellence and compassion in providing innovative services and opportunities for people with disabilities. Our goal is to provide quality services and maintain exceptionally high standards of care. Throughout Missouri, organizations like ours are part of the Missouri Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (MARF) and work collaboratively to provide essential care and security to more than 8,400 Missourians with disabilities. Our employees are highly-vetted and professionally trained to ensure that the people we serve live safe and successful lives – out of institutional settings and in their communities. Community Living is also accredited by an internationally-renowned organization, CARF.

We have no association or affiliation with the prior or current owners of the group home named in the case (formerly Second Chance and currently Finck & Associates). We do not have details or information about the ongoing case. Like others, as we wait for more news to be released, we continue to review internal policies and practices to maintain unprecedented care.

We offer condolences to the victim’s family, friends and the Fulton community in the wake of this tragedy. Community Living understands that individuals like Mr. DeBrodie are Missouri’s most vulnerable citizens. There are many devoted organizations across the state that do, and will continue to, positively impact the quality of life for those in need. Community Living and all MARF-member organizations are committed to spread the word that our insistences upon the highest standards of service are more important than ever before.

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