Closure of Idaho's Kyler House could be 'catastrophic' for some - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Closure of Idaho's Kyler House could be 'catastrophic' for some families

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Meet Lance Tetzner, he’s autistic but lives a full life.

He spends most of his days at school and at the Kyler House just outside Coeur d’Alene.

“It's going to be catastrophic,” Randy Tetzner, Lance’s father, said.

Catastrophic, because the Kyler House will close in June, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

The department says high operating costs is what is driving the closure of the home.

Randy Tetzner is afraid someone like Lance won’t get the same benefit somewhere else.

“I'm afraid that his behaviors will jump off the scale and he's going to end up incarcerated,” Randy said.

The department also says they are doing everything they can to make sure Kyler House children get care close to home.

But the closest similar home is in Nampa.

“He will not have family where the state is proposing he go, he will not be in one of the best school districts, the Coeur d'Alene School District, which has great support for kids who have autism,” Randy said.

Tetzner hopes that something can change between now and the June 15th, 2017 closure of the home to keep Lance and other kids home in North Idaho.

Cameron Gilliland, deputy administrator of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Division of Family and Community Services, issued a statement about the closure:

“The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Kyler House was established in 2009 after a legislative workgroup recommended shifting clients of IDHW’s Southwest Idaho Treatment Center in Nampa into community placements and homelike facilities.

“Unfortunately, the location, physical set-up and size of the Kyler House have been barriers to the safe placement of dangerous and aggressive clients. As a result, Kyler House has primarily become a residence for minors and youth with some difficult behaviors, with a current population of four residents. The high cost of operating the Kyler House coupled with the upcoming July 31, 2017 expiration of the lease for the facility, prompted IDHW to evaluate alternatives where the current residents could still be successful without having a high cost of placement.

“As a result of that evaluation, with the well-being of the Kyler House residents as our priority and working to serve Idaho’s citizens with developmental disabilities in the most cost-effective manner, the decision was made to transition the current Kyler House residents into alternative placement facilities and close Kyler House. IDHW leaders met with the parents and guardians of Kyler House residents April 3 and 4 to inform them of the closure and steps to ensure their well-being as they transition to new residential treatment locations. The four Kyler House residents will be in alternative placements shortly and we anticipate closing Kyler House no later than June 15, 2017.

“It’s important to note this closure has absolutely nothing to do with the performance, dedication and care provided by the 18 IDHW employees of Kyler House who are impacted by this closure. Their commitment to care and professionalism is demonstrated by the last two licensing surveys that showed zero citations. We’re proud of their work and all Kyler House employees have been offered positions at the Southwest Idaho Treatment Center in Nampa if they choose to relocate.”

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