City of Anchorage sues Uspiritus/Bellewood Children's Home - WDRB 41 Louisville News

City of Anchorage sues Uspiritus/Bellewood Children's Home

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The City of Anchorage is suing the Uspiritus - Bellewood Children's home. It says an agreement between the two was violated but the orphanage says otherwise.

For nearly 140 years the Uspiritus-Bellewood Children's Home has been housing abused and neglected children. President and CEO, Abby Drane says the type of children they serve has never changed. But the city of Anchorage wants the orphanage to stop housing children who are considered dangerous - prompting the lawsuit.

“We obtained an agreement from them that they wouldn't have residents that were a danger to themselves or others,” said Anchorage City Attorney John McGarvey.

McGarvey says the facility has had an increased number of incidents with the police department. Drane says otherwise.

“Actually the police and fire folks in Anchorage have said that things have really decreased in the last 18 months.”

At issue are children who are classified at a level five, meaning the most dangerous.

“We obtained documents from the state that indicated they had a number of residents who the state at least deemed a severe risk of harm to themselves or others,” said Garvey.

Drane says the city is misreading those classifications.

“A child with a level 5 needs more care, needs more treatment, and needs us even more.”

McGarvey says the city has been working for two years to find a solution to the issue. Drane thought they did find a solution by increasing staff, security, and moving older children to a different facility. The lawsuit came as a shock, leaving the orphanage confused.

“They have been deemed safe enough,” said Drane.

The city says they've always been a supporter of the orphanage, but are focused on public safety.

“We are not trying to evict anyone, we would never do that. We're just trying to get a policy regarding future admissions,” said McGarvey.

Drane would like to come to an agreement but says no one from the city has contacted her about the lawsuit.

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