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There is no way for the public to measure the quality of Hamilton’s 94 licensed residential care facilities for individuals with persistent mental illnesses and cognitive delays. - Toronto Star file photo

What’s behind closed doors in Hamilton’s lodging homes?

The Hamilton Spector turned to veteran social worker and McMaster School of Social Work graduate, Amanda Noble (MSW' 16), for expert commentary on Hamilton's lodging homes.

Feb 21, 2019

Hundreds of Hamilton's most vulnerable adults live in city-regulated lodging homes that operate almost entirely in secret.

There is no way for the public to measure the quality of those 94 licensed residential care facilities for individuals with persistent mental illnesses and cognitive delays. Inspection results are not public. Reviews by residents or their families are not solicited and made public. Even when a lodging home operator is charged — and convicted — of violating bylaws associated with the proper care of its residents, the information is not brought to the attention of the public.

"There is currently no system in place available to the public that would allow for transparent and easy access to information about the lodging homes in Hamilton."

This is one of the conclusions Amanda Noble made in her 2016 Masters of Social Work thesis for McMaster University called "The Good, The Bad and The Indifferent: Lodging Homes in Hamilton, Ontario."

Noble had worked for 10 years as a social worker in Hamilton when she penned her thesis, and had experience placing clients in lodging homes — without the benefit of accessing inspection reports.

"If I can get a report on a nail salon, I would expect to get reports on homes that care for a vulnerable population," she said in a recent interview. Yet those reports are not public.

Read the full article in the Hamilton Spector