My daughter, 38 years old, with Asperger's Disorder, was made to leave Cedar House Shelter on Wednesday, January 22nd at 8:30pm by the staff manager, Curtis. The temperature outside was zero degrees and blowing snow. She and the manager had an argument and despite the fact she had sixteen days of paid lodging remaining he told her she was being evicted immediately. He refused to have a conversation when my husband called and hung up stating he did not have to explain himself to anyone or us. The police were very kind and told our daughter she could stay in the police station lobby until morning. She is being assisted by ARC of East Central Iowa and they were able to find a place for her to stay the night to which the police drove her. The next morning my husband called Curtis asking to him to return the money to our daughter for the rent. He refused, stating she had signed an agreement that money would not be refunded and again hung up on my husband. One of the reasons our daughter was at Cedar House Shelter was because she has not been able or capable of finding employment, had been recently divorced by her husband and has no income to obtain lodging. We, her parents, have only been able to send small amounts of money. One hundred and twenty dollars does not seem like a large amount of money, but for someone who has none, it is huge!
We understand that her Asperger's greatly affects her social and communication skills, but to evict her in the dark and cold because she "can't keep her mouth shut!" is unforgivable, cruel, and heartless. We believe that situations like this should be investigated and that only those who have understanding of mental health issues be allowed to manage these shelters.
********A conversation I had with the house manager, Curtis, shortly after my daughter began her stay gives a sad commentary to how much "power" this gentleman feels he wields. He told me that he works many long hours and keeps this shelter running and he has the complete backing of (I don't recall if it was the Director, the Board of Directors, or whom). He stated he had been the recipient of many complaints but "he (Director? a member of the Board?) has told me that what I say goes and he supports all my decisions, so nobody should mess with me, because it won't do them any good. I even get invited to special events .**************************