Wednesday, March 23, 2011

URGENT: Please Help Find Fort Worth's Paradise Center a New Home

The Paradise Center is looking for a one-story commercial type property (or a converted house meeting zoning requirements) in the central-south FW area or around the JPS/TSP area, within walking distance to a bus line (Main, Hemphill, Pennsylvania, Henderson, etc.), with interior space of between 2,000 and 5,000 square feet with at least two bathrooms (not sure about ADA requirements), with a working A/C system, a large gathering/meeting room that could fit a pool table and some couches and large screen TV, along with some rooms for an office, meeting room, snack bar/kitchen area.

We are looking at spending around $2,000-$3,000/month for rent, from ASAP to end of September/heat wave=6 months, or longer if funding comes through from grants and from forcing MHMR-TC to fulfill their contractual obligations to fund Paradise Center Inc. until at least the end of 2011.  We would pay all the utilities and do all the basic maintenance and upkeep of the whole facility.

Of course, we hope that our CPA and Board member who specializes in non-profit organizations, can help supplement our limited financial resources with some kind of tax break for the property owner (maybe as an in-kind donation for reduced rent or something along that line).

We would like to have something that can be used pretty quickly as MHMR-TC will throw away all of Paradise Center Inc.'s properties comes the last day of this month.


Anonymous said...

Spoke with JR from Rainbow Lounge and he stated you have not got back with him regarding any of his available property that you could possibly use. Might want to check out what's available.
Smile for you!

Anonymous said...

Congrats that you have help thru end of 2011. That will give you time to get settled into your new space.

The group picture is sweet.........You even got the Jack in the Box sign! smile !

Your friends-N-neighbors said...

Thank you Anonymous commenter. We had left two notes, three messages with staff at Randy Beez's, and had stopped by in person several different times over the last three weeks.

There must have been some disconnect in the communication with kind entreprenuer JR. We will try again. Or if the staff at Randy Beez's or the Rainbow Lounge see this please contact us at

Thanks for the message and for noticing our homeless headquarters. Jack is in the Box and so are our properties under MHMR's control.

However, we will not be boxed in and treated like third class citizens, something our friends and neighbors in the "GLBT community" must know how painful that America.

Thanks for the smiling wishes. We've been smiling AND whooping at you all during the annual parades right in front of our former home. We loved the colors, floats, and especially the candies and other goodies thrown our way.

We have also shed tears and sent silent prayers for you all after the thuggish raid on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Raid that woke up a silent (and mistreated)giant. Every time we saw the tv crews down the block, we said a little prayer for Chad's physical health and for the emotional health of the others.

It looks like our little prayers had been answered and some kind of justice served in recent days. It was SO SWEET to see the chief of FWPD lead the recent parade. Now that's what happens when good people (like Jon Nelson--we don't have such a person) DO SOMETHING when they see and hear about EVIL.

Pray especially for little Elizabeth since the MHMR Cons are convinced that being around "our society's rejects" would mess up her life as a person. They're going to go nuts when they read that she has also been around "those people", too.

Smiles...through tears, from Paradise Center people!!

Anonymous said...

Does FW City Council Rep. Joel Burns know about this Rainbow-esque raid on another super-minority group in his city?

Will Councilperson Joel "It-will-get-better!" Burns be able to say the same thing to these PEOPLE with severe and chronic mental illness living in his own community?

It will get worse, Councilman. Because reports indicate that in less than nine days, the BULLY Jim MCDermott and his MHMR gangbangers will throw away all the properties of this little not-for-profit organization that THEY MHMR don't want to keep....just like the Paradise Center organizanition, its leaders, and its extraodinary director of almost a decade.

Rainbow Lounge down the block "yesterday", Paradise Center Inc. "today", and ________"tomorrow.

Watch out Broadway Baptist Church up the next block. Better PRAY because there's a lot of PREY-ing going on in this community.

Anonymous said...

Come on, JR, man. You gave those brokenhearted people hope and grateful hearts. If you can't help them out just shoot them a quick email saying yes or no. That sounds like what they simply want and the least you can do.

Their hearts have broken and hopes destroyed by these MHMR bullycrats. Don't be a McDermott, bro. Just tell the SOMETHING.

Anonymous said...

Well, I copied your comments and how JR can reach you. I stopped by and they said he will be around this evening. So I will try and catch him and give him a copy of what you said.

Partay4Paradise People said...

JR, Bobby, Sue Anne, and any one from the Ewing clan: don't leave our poor neighbors hangin'.

Better yet we oughta do a block party fund-raiser to help "our guys" out..can't let those a***h$$$$ at MHMR win this fight. Maybe Rahr's brewery can join forces with food from Randy Beez's and have a neighborhood party.
DJ spinning dance tunes street dances in a family friendly part before dark...when the freaks come out and P-A-R-T-A-Y 4 Paradise.

Partay4Paradise, any one...partay people?

Anonymous said...

You gays need to stay away. Jim McDermott's got connections with the city and the FWPD, too. So, go back to the rear, you queers.

MHMR of Tarrant County and our friends are in control and these nutbags are about to be smashed to bits and never to be heard from again. Save your time.... and yourselves.

All you homos better go. It's non of your damn business. Jim mcDermott's a doctor and because he doesn't want the clients to catch anything, y'all stay away from his mental patients. They got enough problems already with their brain disease!!


CatsPaw said...

McDermott's got a PhD. They may call him "doctor" but he's not a medical doctor. And those are not *his* patients. I sure hope all of you name-calling, nasty "anonymous" ones are anomalies at MHMR. If the agency is filled with people like you, we *are* screwed.

The rock you crawled out from under is calling.

Anonymous said...

That's pretty funny, Catspaw. LMAO-and still LOL!

Excellent serious points as well. With all the hatred by these mhmr cons, I'm starting to consider using the E word to describe these individuals.

After they attacked a little child and a deathly ill woman, it shouldn't have surprised me that they exposed their dark hearts some more. Sad, really.

And Scary to think these people control so much tax money and the health and wellbeing of "the least of these".

Concerned Sister said...

I'm very concerned because my sister has been doing the best she has been in decades after she began to become a member of Paradise three years ago and got more and more involved with the community center's many VOLUNTARY activities. I just found this site after I went into FW on a business trip last week and visited her and noticed she was more withdrawn, confused, and scared and even agitated.

She says she doesn't go to "that new place much" because she doesn't like the new staff people, several of them in fact, who now "rule the place, not like when Theresa and the MAB were there".

So I dropped by there during a break and it was VERY different. New furnishings and new staff running the place. The feeling and atmosphere, the laughter and free flowing interactions were no longer there. It's a sterile looking place with a subdued atmosphere, like something you'd expect at a mental institution or waiting room. The staff there were professional enough toward me, but seemed stiff (even stifled by some rules or policies--asked me suspiciously several times if I was a reporter). The woman that was Theresa's part time help seemd stressed , tired, and came across as defensive despite her best effort to "sell" the new drop-in center thing.

I hope that Theresa and Paradise find a place soon because people like my sister are starting to show the negative effects from such unexpected and shocking changes. I wish I had a lot of money because I'd buy them a place that'd have enough space for all those people (see the picture on the site here of how little and cramped it is).

I'll pray that some good people will step forward and help. Very SOON. I'll commit to making a small but regular donations to support them because they are a life saver for my sister and so many other members.

P.S. I was shocked to see a handfull of clients sitting out in the hot blacktop area and even lying down on the grass since all the benches under the awning are gone. Don't these clinic staff know that these folks aren't supposed to be in the heat due to the strong meds??

And yes, MHMR was deadly wrong to do waht they did. The ceo and whoever else responsible should be held accountable and even fired for it.

No wonder she didn't want to go back and kept saying that she was praying Theresa and Paradise would "come get me soon".

Anonymous said...

Teresa Davis I was able to find out what is happening with JR (Rainbow Lounge) and his other properties.

He did check and found out that there would be Zoning problems with his available properties.

Sorry, I have faith that it will only be a matter of time and you will have your place. Just take it a day at a time. Smile

Daniel said...

I heard that NAMI (sp?) is supposed to be THE advocacy group for people suffering from mental illness, esp. in terms of how they're perceived and treated.

Is there one such group close by? And shouldn't they be ACTIVELY ADVOCATING for some of their own, the Paradise Center organization and members?

Does anyone know much about this group? It's mission, location, activities, etc.

I believe if such a group were around this scandal would not have taken place to start off with. And definitely, not to continue the suffering of these poor people who are mostly misunderstood and our great society's few remaining outcasts.

Fairness Now! said...

What kind of "zoning problem" could there be, I wonder?

Of course, that's why the city has "zoning variances".

Considering the extraordinary facts and emergency circumstances, I would imagine that Council Rep. Joel Burns could "git 'er done", just like he's done in other cases. Especially the so called Meerkat Plan to move Chesapeake's heavy industrial gas drilling sites from the TCU campus and neighborhood to the light commercial area behind the Ol South Pancakehouse on S. University near I-30 and the Trinity River.

If there's a will...
If the cause is just...
If Fairness extends to all people in Fort Worth ...

Durango said...

It does seem a bit odd that a city that sees no problem with sticking gas drilling pads just about everywhere would have some sort of zoning restriction that would prevent the Paradise Center from operating in the vicinity of the Rainbow Lounge.

I'm really tired of being perplexed by Fort Worth. It wears a person down after awhile.

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to be informed. Isn't there an easier way that we can read the continually added comments to ALL of the posts without going to the bottom of each post, seeing if the # has increased, viewing comments, etc, etc?

Durango said...

Anonymous at 7:15 AM----You can subscribe to COMMENTS. Look for the "Subscribe" option in the column on the right. It is right after the picture of the snowman.

Anonymous said...

I heard over the weekend that the McDermott gang and con-spirators have been putting on a full court press --sorry too much ncaa b'ball--to prevent the paradise from finding a place because as long as that org. exists and operates to help their friend and members, mhmr's Medicaid scheme and their many misconducts will continue to be noticed by the public.

No wonder, their shills had tried so desperately earlier to make teresa "move on" and go away by making those vulgar personal attacks. Amazing the grace, strength, and moral fiber of this pro-fessional woman throughout these weeks (and sounds like past several months).

I wouldn't count her and her people out, even though I'm starting to with this JR person and his people. What a McDermott!!! (thanks, whoever started this espression).

scott free said...

MHMR should give some of their spacious six-story office tower for the Paradise Center people to use. Remember it was this agency and their strongman ceo who seemed to REALLY wanted to control and OWN their "MHMR PROGRAM".

They now fully "own" Ms. Davis as their employee, so they should go ahead and own the non-profit that she was working so hard to serve and protect from predators.

Set up a floor, or even just half a floor for these guys and call it the McDermott Wing. IF it's okay WITH HIM since he owns all things MHMR-TC. Including the current mess and the "bills" that are sure to follow.

Cuz you can't pull such crap and get away scott free. Not in America, anyway.

Anonymous said...

So did the McDermott bullycrats force JR, Joel Burns, and Fairness Fort Worth back into the closet, politically, so yo speak????

The bigots and thugs in this small minded town just DID IT AGAIN & IT'S WON'T GET BETTER FOR PARADISE AND PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS.

The Fort. Worth Way strikes AGAIN.

Anonymous said...

Concerned Sister......Just wanted to let you know that the "sterile atmosphere" was due to having everything removed from walls, spackling, and a new coat of fresh paint. The old "Paradise Center" building maintenance was not a high priority so new management is doing alot of repairs and updates.

In time, I feel your Sister will adapt. Change is necessary in day to day living. It's now been over 5 weeks since the change of management. There is laughter and people have fun still at the New Drop In Center.

The new pool table is a Brunswick Professional Pool Table. And contrary to what people have previously stated it is used from opening to almost closing time.

We now have a new "craft room" in the back of our building. Some women sit around and made a list of what craft projects would be fun for our group to do.

New outdoor furniture has been ordered. Some benches will be where the ceiling fans are in the shaded area. Also, tables with umbrellas will be a new feature for the smoking section. The back of the building concrete will be poured for a new non smoking section. Also, with tables with umbrellas.

Tony, is our new "Manager" and Lynn is his assistant. They make a good Team.

Everyone is adapting. I personally feel change is good and people are learning to be self sufficent and not dependent on any one person.

The activities schedule has alot of new changes on it. So hopefully, clients will not feel like they are in a rut.

Please allow your to Sister to "grow" in her own person. She will "smile" again and also laugh !

Concerned Sister said...

Thank you so much for all your kindness and consideration for people like my sister. Just a couple of quick questions: why is MHMR-TC only just doing these things now? And does this have anything to do with the recent push to get people like my sister to change from Medicaid provider Amerigroup HMO to Bravo Health?

What I hear you saying now and in other comments is that these changes are strictly to help the clients and for that reason alone. If so, this is wonderful. But how is it paid for, all the spackling and painting, all the nice New furniture, cable TV, extra 3-5 full-time paid professional staff, and all the new furnishings and improvements outside, etc. Those must add up to close to half a million dollars or so. But we were told that the contract with consumer-run organization Paradise Center was due
almost 100% to drastic loss in funding for the agency.

I'm just a normal working stiff, but things don't add up or making sense in my average little mind. Maybe you could explain again in an easy to understand way that smart executives like you can.

Anonymous said...

Concerned Sister....... All clients of MHMRTC with Medicaid and individuals on Social Security Disability with Medicaid are having to choose between Amerigroup and Bravo. This is not a easy choice for many of us. I have Medicare/Medicaid so I am having to look at both groups available to see what exactly is covered. Each group has their Pros and Cons. Currently, I am seeing which Doctors are on what Programs.

Personally, I feel MHMRTC probably has the better coverage using Bravo Health. Alot of Doctors are only on one choice of Health Care they are accepting.

Regarding the recent changes at the Drop In Center. They are not spending a half million dollars on updates. Spackling walls for numerous nail holes, etc doesn't really cost that much money. Also, the paint is the same color it was originally. So it was a simple one coat of the entire building. For several years I helped my Mom get apartments ready for new tenants and it actually didn't cost much if you didn't have to deal with holes in sheet rock, etc. MHMR staff person did spackling and painting so it really was cost efficient process.

On pool table the old Paradise Center one was falling apart. The corners of the pool table was taped to keep corners from falling off. The green covering of pool table was torn, and to get to the balls after hitting into the the holes, you had to lift pool table up on one end to slide the balls where they could be gotten.

New pool table is a Brunswick (professional) and the pool table is special made and is actually too heavy to lift. The balls go into the cups like they are suppose to and are easy to get out.
Expense involved yes, but, in the long wrong it should hast several years.

I do not know who picked out the couches, but, they are terrible! They have not worn well for the period of time Paradise Center had them. Considering some days we have had at the new Drop In Center 75 members coming through a day. So the expense will be for well constructed, heavier duty couches.

New water fountain was put in and I believe a new toilet in one of the bathrooms. But, this is needed expense that probably will last a few years.

The cable tv, is what the old Paradise Center had along with a Big Screen TV. New Drop In Center has cable tv also, but they purchased a smaller tv. So they saved money there.

Most of the time we have only 2 full-time employees at a time. One woman who has been helping on a part time basis, is moving out of town when school is out. So she comes on and out sometimes to help with the transition from Paradise Center to The Drop In Center.

Paradise Center has found a new home at 525 S. Henderson. We are happy for them and wish them the best.

I do not feel I need to know all of the facts surrounding the changes. But, Teresa Davis has a Board that will be working with her, she is loved by the community, and in the end I personally feel, Fort Worth will have two great groups helping the Mentally Ill, and other people who choose to access the Drop In Center or Paradise Center.

Hope this information helps. Your sister is loved and like many others she will adapt.

Anonymous said...

Regarding pool table it should have read in the long run it should last several years. I should have proof read before clicking.

Concerned Sister said...

Thank you for the useful information, Anthony. You sound like an intelligent, educated, and reasonable person. You would probably have fit in well and worked well with Theresa and the Paradise Center group.

I'm glad that you are the one managing the place now for MHMR-Bravo Health. You high regards for the facts is very refreshing, in light of all the facts and circumstances surrounding this scandal. Because I do not like dishonest people and will not allow her to be under their care or influence due to her many disadvanages as a mental health consumer.

Having you as the "Manager" is a good start. I will keep an open mind and hope that you will too and not allow the paid position with mhmr-bravo compromise your own personal and professional integrity. Just learn from this scandal and be on your guard because as you might noticed already there are some questionable people, values, judgments, and actions all around you. Don't become so much a part of the system that you lose what make you who you are and where you are at this point in your life.

I am almost certain that the Paradise group and Theresa will welcome you as a friend and cooperate with you and your mission. That's based on 6+ years of consistent attitude and actions on their part.

Like I said, I am keeping an open mind. But I don't understand the secracy and evasion by top level mhmr leaders, especially if they had done everything properly--legally, morally, ethically, professionally, etc.

This dark cloud (often more like a dark shroud) looms over everything associated with mhmr until the leaders provide the public with clear and transparent disclosure of what happened and why.

And maybe even more of an obstacle for me is why, and who intigated or approved of the vicious and untrue personal attacks on the Paradise Center folks that continues unabated even though I have seen nothing to provoke, much less justify, such acts of "personal destruction" (to borrow from the Clintons).

I pray that you are the voice of common sense and common decency that's been missing from mhmr over the past several months. God bless you and your efforts in this part of your journey, Tony.

BTW, I remember pretty clearly that the brown couches were ordered by MHMR's top brass about 1&1/2 or so years ago, with no input from the Paradise people as to what their "felt needs" were regarding the replacement couches. In retrospect it was also when MHMR surprised the Paradise people with having a guy spend a few weeks painting the place. They thought all the unusually nice actions that they didn't ask for was related to the 40th Anniversary of MHMR-TC, but apparently they were not. And with the facts and questions offered by this blog site, I venture to bet that it was for a preliminary/initial site visit by Bravo health and/or the State's Dept. of HHS. And yes, it was about the same time that MHMR bought and removed the ramshackled tin building at 507 Jennings that was abutting the 505 property line. It just did not look good at all, esp. to a potential business partner or state inspectors.

Smiles Unlimited said...

You must be at a happy point in your life Anthony because you "smile" a lot ...starting say the third week of March when you were suddenly so helpful in trying to get the AWOL'd JR to communicate with Teresa Davis and the consumer-run nonprofit organization Paradise Center Inc.

BRAVO, Antonio!!! Your performance and craftiness were quite remarkable to observe. Apparently you native intellect and graduate level education and professional consulting experience were the necessary skill set desperately needed by jim mcdermott and his crew. I bet you made them smile for the first time in months.

Unfortunately your performance dashed the "hope" and took away the smiles of those Paradise Center people. The Samaritan House hot shot "shot JR" the proverbial Good Samaritan. Ironic. No..cruel irony is more accurate, along the vein of Mark Anthony and other Roman political intrigues.

Give the Paradise people credit as well for their resiliency in enduring many cruel betrayals...and for playing along with the MHMR-TC's brain-trust's charade. It put some smiles on their sad but determined faces, though :D

You keep on smiling..and giving those courageous people reasons to smile, and even chuckle. We'll talk more later, "Tony the manager".

randy b. said...

So which reporter and news station did you talk to at the Rainbow Lounge, Anthony? Or is it now "Tony the 'manager'" now?

not anon. said...

yeah, anthony while you were schoozing with sonja and the gang inside the cushy hulen tower these fellow human beings afflicted with severe mental illness were forced to hold their meeting in a jack-in-the box. U didn't see anything wrong with these contrasting pictures a few weeks ago, how about NOW?

U thought u-r smarter than JR. Really?? JR and the paradise group just punk'd u and ur mhmr gangstas. How'd u think JR got to be where he is at his age?? He worked hard...and SMART, dude.

not anon. said...

btw, the ZONING thing was sooo lame. Who fed u that crap? sonja? jim? jimmy mc? Or even the smart lawyers at samaritan house??

SO l-a--a-a-m-e, Tony. Even the durangotexas dude couldn't contain himself.

Anonymous said...

FYI Tony the "manager" and Melissa Gibbons the "member of nami tarrant county": NO ONE QUALIFIED for Medicaid STAR+ has to "CHOOSE" anything because they are and had been enrolled in and serviced by Amerigroup ever since 02/01/2011.

The only difference now is that after mhrtc and jimmy boy broke their contractual agreement with paradise center and locked the consumer-run organization out (on 02/17/11), the state's Dept. of Health Human Service lifted its SUSPENSION of BRAVO Health so that BRAVO can begin enrolling --or picking off from Amerigroup since every person qualified and chose to participate in the plan were enrolled AUTOMATICALLY by default with Amerigroup---clients on 03/17/11 (coincidence, huh?). But BRAVO cannot begin formal operations until 05/01/11, which after this scandal might or might not be a reality.

But you two know jimmy mcD and BRAVO much better than us commom folks, so feel free to enlighten us.

HR mama said...

Sorry folks, Tony the "manager" has been busy interviewing people for positions as hybrid mhrtc-bravo health staff. Several current case managers will not be smiling very soon. If not all ready.

Anonymous said...

Dear Concerned Sister.......It was not Anthony (AKA) Tony who wrote the anon's blog. Nor was it Tony who wrote about JR ! No one from the Drop In Center has any idea how JR got involved??!!!

Whoever wrote the blogs is annonymous to the Pros and the Cons.

Cons know very little about what is going on. They are getting the newest center up and running.

Queer as folk said...

Uh huh, yea, sure, Tony-Lynn-Sandy-Cam puppets of MHMR cons. We're disappointed in you Anthony. Your dirty work for the dirty mhmr thugs give all us gays a dark mark. You might do that kind of dirty scheme in Detroit, but not here. You can take all the mhmr girls back to Michigan or Ohio with you and do your dirty deed there. Smell!!

Overtaxed Bookkeeper said...

Bureaucratic math: buying a 36" TV --with our hard earned tax dollars--is a big saving compared to a.46" TV that was donated to the consumer-run nonprofit.

No wonder incompetence and mediocrity are the standard for MHMR-TC.

mhmr person said...

Most people who followed this scandal blogsite were already aware that Tony and the MHMR executives were one and the same. Tony's mental illness and nasty streaks were perfect tools for MHMR to use in their desperate campaign to defame Theresa and to destroy the Paradise Center organization. Because as long as that courageous woman and the resilient consumer group remain standing Jimmy boy and his gang will have a lot to answer for and pay more than the disgraced public images that this blog has exposed.

You know the saying about birds of a feather f'ing together :D These dirty mhmr birds are more like vultures.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Dr. Jim McDermott, saw your picture with some folks in the Star Telegram !! Out raising funds for MHMRTC.

Also, wanted to say "Thanks for the new Community Center! We are loving the new 54" big flat screen TV. New furniture is awesoome. Staff made us a area for Watching movies, etc on comfy chairs. Also, alot of peoples are enjoying the new brunswick pool table. Also, they are setting up the new area for Wii system.

Memorial Day BBQ was awesome with Lawrence, peer leader, cooking for 75 people ! Thanks for making Community Center the best place ever !

Anonymous said...

Concerned sister.....your comment on the sterile look made me laugh! ! Everything is new at the Community center and the staff and the members love the look! Yes it is new thanks to MHMRTC and will be completed in the near future. Wii area and finishing up the outdoors should be ready before long. They also getting us a new Bbq! Hooray !

Anonymous said...

Lisa says that it's doesn't look very good inside Paradise Center. There is the old tv and the old pool table and that's about all there is to do. She states that when she was over there that about all there was to do was sit and do nothings.

Cons have their "spys" too! haha

Guelma said...

Hey mcduffus and "peer leaders" (whatever that is!), thanks for removing all doubts that you're a bunch of incompetent and dishonest weenycrats. Your nasty but sloppy behavior elicit feelings of disgusting and sympathy at the same time. I'll chalk it up to your sociopathic tendency that keeps making you do these shameful things, like trolling this blog and sneaking in assanine comments.