Rep. Johnson sends letter regarding locations to house individuals in the Minnesota Speciality Health System

JohnsonB 32A
Rep. Brian Johnson

State Representative Brian Johnson (R-Cambridge) sent a letter to Commissioner Lucinda Jesson of the Department of Human Services last week regarding a lease on a home outside of Cambridge that will be used to house potentially dangerous individuals in the Minnesota Specialty Health System (MSHS) program. You can find a copy of the letter below.

“I am writing on behalf of community members in my district who have raised serious concerns about the recent decision to move potentially dangerous patients from the Minnesota Specialty Health System (MSHS) to a home-based setting in Cambridge Township. This home that has been leased is located directly adjacent to a church and school, putting citizens, mainly children, unnecessarily in harm’s way.

The selection of a location on 336th Avenue North in Cambridge Township demonstrates a complete lapse in judgment by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) and local program leaders. Worse yet, the lease to the home was signed before getting adequate community input. Just weeks ago, I spoke with you on behalf of my constituents regarding a similarly bad decision made by DHS relating to the transfer of dangerous sex offenders to a populated neighborhood in the city of Cambridge. Thanks to an order by Governor Dayton, your plans to move these offenders into the community were temporarily stopped. This new plan to move developmentally disabled adults who are potentially a risk to the community should also be stopped immediately.

The Calvary Baptist Church and School is located mere feet away from the home you have selected to house these patients in; they have not yet been cleared for unlimited public release. It would be extremely unwise and potentially unsafe to house these individuals in a location so close to children — especially a school.

I am asking for you to consider alternative locations far away from homes and schools to place these individuals as they are “transitioned” back into the community. I’d also ask you to issue an apology to the residents whom I represent that have been given another reason to lose faith in the actions of your state agency.”

Brian Johnson, Cambridge
State Representative, District 32A