Beggars Can't Be Choosers

Parents plead with the state not to shut down the state schools for the mentally retarded. But it looks like a done deal.

The shortage of dollars has split the mental health community in a far more devastating fashion than any philosophical differences.

As Aulds points out, families who worked for years to get any kind of services for their children in Texas and were successful in getting improvements to the state schools and are happy with that system are fighting with people who worked hard to get more community-based programs. "People get polarized and people get mischaracterized on both sides."

As Herb Apple said: "We've tried to divide and conquer. We've pitted these people at each other's throats for meager dollars."

Richmond employee Renee Salazar helps hold Rita 
Sue for her picture with sister Ilene and mother Mary 
Rosenfield.
Daniel Kramer
Richmond employee Renee Salazar helps hold Rita Sue for her picture with sister Ilene and mother Mary Rosenfield.
Rita Sue takes her first horseback ride on Bullet.
Daniel Kramer
Rita Sue takes her first horseback ride on Bullet.

Schnee acknowledges it as well. "Everybody's scrambling, looking for resources. I think we have to be careful not to forget about the people we're here to serve."

Sobering words that should be remembered, especially when we seem to be on a cost-expedient road to tragedy -- if, of course, you measure your success in human lives, as well as in dollars saved.

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