Friday, November 2, 2012

An Update on the Health of Bravo Health

The Paradise Center Scandal Blog got an interesting comment this to a post posted way back on April 24, 2011 titled Anonymous Research Into the MHMR-TC Relationship With BRAVO Health with that comment being so good we thought a new post with this comment was a good idea...

It looks like BRAVO Health has done business almost completely with the federally controlled Medicare program. So I would agree with the conclusion by the first anonymous commenter on 4/28 that this is major "foot in the door" for the corporation as far as state-controlled Medicaid program. Medicaid can be and often is much more profitable than the more stringent retirement (with some for disabled workers on SSDI) medical benefit Medicare. So I see why this market is so valuable to BRAVO and its new parent company Health Spring. No wonder BRAVO is plastering ads all over and handing out donations to groups like NAMI-TC and MHA . I still can't get my hand on information to explain why BRAVO was placed on a five month suspension to begin doing business by the state's Dept of HHS back in December. The information provided on this blog would make it reasonable to think that THE only reason for that rather surprising--and pretty harsh-- suspension was due to Theresa Davis' refusal to collude with the McDermott gang. Because thinking about it what McDermott and his gang did to Ms. Davis and Paradise Center were also rather surprising and extremely harsh. Aside from criminal prosecution, I can only think that something as serious and very consequential as such a financial matter would explain the disturbing decision and damaging actions on the part of the agency's highest level of leadership. Some with master level social worker licenses could be in some hot water with the State Board since they as professionals in that field should have known of the likely harm that such sudden and drastic changes would have on people recovering from very serious mental illness. But they thought that their victims would ever speak up and call them out like the Paradise group has. Give Ms. Davis a lot of credit for not only standing her ground but also for helping to give those folks the self confidence and cohesion as a group to fight and essentially win this David v. Goliath fight. That's very remarkable in itself there because it looked like the McDermott gang and cronies were throwing everything at them to make them lose heart and give up. Your blog shares a lot of credit because it helped expose wrongdoing and spread the truth against the MHMR-TC political machinery. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Paradise Center Camp Bowie Bingo Opens Tonight!

For all you bingo players in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, tonight, Friday, February 10 is an excellent time to play Bingo at Camp Bowie Bingo.

According to the Paradise Center of Fort Worth Facebook page....

The first 100 guests receive a gift bag worth over $100 dollars in coupons ande goodies. Also, to celebrate Valentine's Day, there are flowers and sweets for early birds! Come see the guys from Paradise Center as they kick off this new chapter of self-sufficiency and independence! And you just might win a little money, too!!!

Camp Bowie Bingo is at 8105 Camp Bowie West.

Regular operating hours  Thursday and Friday, 10:30 am-2:30 pm and Saturdays 12:00-4:00 pm.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Paradise Says Hello

Incoming email this morning from the good folks at Paradise Center, subject line: Hello from Paradise!

When we don't hear from the good folks at Paradise Center we assume things are going well. Then again, sometimes when we hear from the good folks at Paradise Center it is good news we hear.

Like today's good news.

Recently someone anonymous anonymously asked "What's going on with Paradise nowadays?"

Well, the below excerpt for this morning's email from the good folks at Paradise Center answers that anonymous what's going on question....

Here's the skinny, for you and any of your readers who may be interested:

1.  As of December 18, Paradise Center received two licenses from the Texas Charitable Bingo Division:  a Lessor license and a Conductor license.

2.  We are legally qualified to not only play bingo 3 times a week, but to also operate a bingo business that leases it's business to other charities who can also play bingo 3 times a week.

3.  We've moved into our permanent home at 8109 Camp Bowie West Boulevard.  Our new space is 4500 s.f.

4.  We've moved into our permanent Bingo as well, right next door at 8105 Camp Bowie West, and is 11,000 s.f.  We have 70 tables and 300 chairs.

5.  Our official Grand Opening Night of Bingo is Friday, January 20, 2012 at 7:00pm.

6.  Our regular operating hours will be Thursday and Friday, 10:30am-2:30pm and Saturdays 12:00-4:00.

7.  We are able to accommodate 6 more charities at our location.

8.  We've chosen to make our facility 100% smoke free and family friendly.  We'll be the only Bingo in Tarrant County that is 100% smoke free; Dallas County made smoking in Bingo halls illegal about 5 years ago.

9.  100% of the "bingo workers" will be volunteers from Paradise Center.  We're proud that the people working the Bingo game, the snack bar, etc. are all mental health consumers and their supporters.

10. We are not operating regular bingo on Saturday nights.  We are reserving that night, the most popular bingo playing night, for special events for non-profits who want to do a one-time only fundraising event.  This will also be the night that non-profits who are interested in bingo as a fundraiser, but do not have their permanent license to operate 3 times a week, can put on a one night bingo fundraiser.  The license fee is only $25 and it's an easy way for charities to raise the money to apply for their permanent license.

We've already had one long-time supporter voice disapproval of our Board's choice to use charitable bingo as a way to sustain our charity.  "You shouldn't be subjecting consumers to gambling."  We expect more of this.

But we also expect overwhelming success.

It has been cathartic in a way for many of our guys.  They have been dependent on others for housing, health care, their income, for many years.  To have MHMR take away their safe haven, Paradise Center, was a blow to their own sense of independence.

We know now that what we had for over a decade wasn't true independence.  It was indulgence.  They let us run our little program as long as we did it their way.  When we didn't, they cut us off.

We will not be in a position like that again.  Operating Charitable Bingo is our plan to support our non-profit's efforts for true independence.

It's also how we hope to help other non-profits also.  We know how it feels not to know where next month's rent will come from.  And we know how it feels to wait for that promised donation check so we can pay the light bill.

No more.  We've taken our destiny into our own hands.

And we are excited.

Durango, we want you to come out, look around, talk to the guys.  We are there most all day these days, putting everything where it goes, getting ready for opening night.

Your blog and the support we received from your readers made a huge impact on us.  Just knowing that others cared, people who never met us, helped us to stay the course.  Thank you.

We look forward to seeing you at Bingo!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Good News from the Paradise Center Gang

Until today I'd not heard from the good folks at the Paradise Center in awhile.

When I don't hear from the good folks at the Paradise Center I figure all must be good in paradise.

This morning's message confirmed my assumption.

The Paradise Center has had some exciting things happen. Not all of which I am currently at liberty to blog about.

But, I can tell you that Paradise Center has partnered with an LLC (Limited Liability Company).

But, bigger news than a new LLC partner, is the fact that Paradise Center is moving from its current location at 525 S. Henderson Street to a new, 4,000 square foot space next to Benbrook Shopping Center on Camp Bowie West.

Remodeling of the new Paradise Center space began today. Paradise Center hopes to move in to their new place on November 25. I suspect I will be making a visit to the new Paradise Center after it opens.

You can keep up with Paradise Center on Facebook. It was there I learned the Gang at Paradise Center had themselves a fine time on a long weekend retreat up in Oklahoma. Paradise Center also has a website where you can find information and have the opportunity to do a good thing by donating to the cause.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Good News About Elizabeth's Successful Heart Procedure

Message, with good news, from Elizabeth's mom, Teresa.....

Mr. Durango,

This is Teresa, Elizabeth's mom. Her surgery had been scheduled tentatively since January. We have had a firm date since early April.

I want to make sure that everyone remembers that this hubub about her heart condition started because she responded to something someone said on the blog.

She wrote (with our permission) about Mr. D., one of the members who has known her since her birth, who let me know that he plays the lottery when the prizes are really large so he can win and help pay for Elizabeth's surgery. I discouraged him from this many times. It was his way of saying that he wanted to do something to help us, as we have helped him.

When he was homeless for 2 years, carrying his possessions in a black garbage bag, with no money or food, we were there for him. And I think that coming to Paradise Center, being "normal" and interacting with my baby daugher, helped give him hope for his own future. (I can't wait for the comments about how awful I am to let a HOMELESS MAN around my infant.)

Regarding her surgery, she insists we call it "a procedure". Less scary for her, but actually more accurate. The evening of the "procedure", she was up, playing charades with visiting friends, and even tap dancing. Everything went smoothly, the doctor and all of the staff at Children's Medical were amazing, and we are all so happy to have that hurdle behind us. She doesn't even have one stitch on her body. Amazing!

Thank you for your concern and well wishes,

Teresa Davis
Paradise Center, Inc.
friends helping friends in mental health recovery

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Paradise Center's Elizabeth

That is Elizabeth holding a couple of her many awards. Those of us who have been following the Paradise Center Scandal have read about Elizabeth. And her mom, Teresa, and dad, Steve.

The bad people who committed the dirty deeds that erupted into the Paradise Center Scandal counted,, among their dirty deeds attacking Teresa's parenting of Elizabeth.

Today I heard some good news from Anonymous about Elizabeth. I have been unable to confirm the good news, but I suspect it is true.

This is what Anonymous had to say...

I was told by a sweet couple that go to Paradise Center that Elizabeth had a procedure at Childrens Hospital in Dallas to repair the hole in her heart. Broadway Baptist is praying for her. Let's keep her in our prayers.

I talked to Elizabeth when CatsPaw and I visited Paradise Center last month. What a cute, sweet, smart little girl Teresa and Steve have raised. Let's keep Elizabeth and her mom and dad, and her Paradise Center family in our prayers.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Tale of Bobby & Marie's Ordeal With MHMR-TC

We got a message from Paradise Center this morning. And a video.

In the video you meet Bobby and Marie and hear the story of their nightmare of dealing with MHMR-TC.

Paradise Center had this to say.......

We wanted to share with you this video that we shot today at Paradise Center, at the request of some members.  As it was unfolding, it was so outrageous that, unless some of our phone conversations were on video, no one would believe it.

This video is of two members telling their horrible experience today with MHMR and how we were able to advocate for them.

Thanks for your support of Paradise Center.  We exist for the folks telling their story, Bobby and Marie, and the hundreds of others in Fort Worth who are mentally ill and need support.