Jonathan Hart

People With Disabilities Forced to Live in Assisted Care Facilities

Minnesota has a civil rights issue. Thousands of people with disabilities who can’t find quality home care are forced to resort to living with people three times their age. The state of Minnesota is paying for 1,500 people who are under the age of 65 to live in assisted living. This is the case with 25-year-old Korrie Johnson.


“This is no place for someone my age,” Johnson, who has cerebral palsy and limited mobility of her limbs, told the Star Tribune. “I love these people, but I feel like I’m missing out on life every day that I’m stuck here.”

“This is a civil rights issue,” Barnett Rosenfield, supervising attorney for Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid’s Minnesota Disability Law Center, told the outlet. “We have too many people in our state stuck in nursing homes who don’t want to be there and have no easy way out.”

This shortage is due to underfunding of Minnesota’s personal care assistance program.

The 40-year-old program has seen its reimbursement rates stay stagnant as costs have increased. Despite the amount of work they do, personal care aides in the state can expect to make only $12 to $13 an hour working part time and with limited benefits. As Carla Friese, a Minnesota resident with quadriplegia, reported, “It’s difficult to find quality staff when they can make the same pay flipping burgers at McDonald’s and do a lot less work.”

As of December, there were roughly 8,000 vacant home care jobs across the state. This is the most in 16 years, and also means that 1 in every 6 people who qualify for services are not receiving them.

Another person experiencing difficulty coping with the state’s system is Lauren Thompson. Two years ago, she was a contestant in the state’s “Ms. Wheelchair” pageant who warned of a “catastrophic crisis” that was looming. Now she is one of many Minnesotans living in an assisted living facility. As Thompson herself put it to the Tribune, “I survive here, but I want to do more with my life than just survive.”

As for Korrie Johnson, she holds out hope that she’ll be able to leave the assisted care facility she is in soon. She is currently renting an apartment in a nearby town, which she hopes to live in full time after securing adequate home care. “I can go crazy in my own home,” Johnson said. “Just imagine — I can be my own person again.”

Latest News

woke politics

Republicans Launch a War on ‘Woke’ Politics in Hopes of Big Legislative Wins in 2022

In 2020, former President Barack Obama warned that the phrase “Defund the Police” could become a dangerous rallying cry for the conservative right. But now, Republicans have apparently taken that warning one step further, declaring war on all things “woke.” Allan Smith and Sahil Kapur of NBC News wrote that…

women in politics

Women Remain Vastly Underrepresented in Local Government, Despite Conventional Wisdom Suggesting Otherwise

Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sat behind President Biden during his first speech to a joint session of Congress on April 28 — representing the first time two women held such important and high-ranking political offices. Even after such a historic moment, the reality…

Kentucky Derby

Inspired by Protests Over Breonna Taylor’s Death, Humana and Kentucky Derby Festival Launch Diversity and Inclusion Initiative in Louisville

Ahead of the 147th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 1, Kentucky Derby officials and Humana (No. 25 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020) have announced a new equity initiative meant to make the race more accessible and welcoming to everyone, regardless of race, gender, age…

crimes against human ity

‘Crime Against Humanity’; Global Report Says the US Should Be Prosecuted in International Criminal Court for Ongoing Police Murders of Black Americans

In what has been described as a “devastating” report, human rights experts and lawyers have investigated and released a 188-page analysis of the ongoing police brutality and killing of Black Americans in the U.S. Their verdict: the country is guilty of “crimes against humanity” and should be prosecuted for its…

Tokyo, Olympics

Tokyo Olympics to Encourage Significant Increase in Gender Equality Among Event’s Corporate Sponsors

Besides simply being a showcase for some of the most talented and athletic men and women on the planet, the organizers of the Tokyo Olympics are hoping their event this summer can also help promote significant change in corporate culture, both in Japan and around the globe. Bloomberg’s Ayai Tomisawa…

AbbVie Joins Over 400 Leading US Employers in the Human Rights Campaign’s ‘Business Coalition for the Equality Act’

Originally published on LinkedIn. AbbVie ranked No. 19 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020.   AbbVie has joined a group of over 400 corporations and leading U.S. employers to support the Human Rights Campaign’s “Business Coalition for the Equality Act,” an initiative advocating for federal…