Guy Mitchell. Guy Mitchell. Guy Mitchell. I can't get that name out of my head. And when I think of Guy, I am afraid for my son, my mother and my future self. I am afraid for everyone who is at risk of being vulnerable and 'cared for' by the state, behind closed doors.
Guy Mitchell had developmental disabilities and was 38 when he died in 2012. He drowned in an outdoor cistern of freezing cold water outside his group home in Ancaster, Ontario, as he was trying to retrieve drinking water. A representative of Hamilton Police said officers reported that the conditions at the Ancaster home were some of the worst they had ever seen. There were signs of neglect everywhere, and they included no heat, or running water; no food in the fridge, soiled clothes all over the floor as well as alcohol bottles and ashtrays everywhere.
The story of the Ancaster group home is a sad, cautionary tale of total failure to protect Guy and his vulnerable roommates. When Guy entered his Ancaster residence twenty-six years ago, Bill and Karen Santor apparently ran a well kept and caring home for their charges until they died and daughter Keri-Lynn Santor assumed her parents' responsibilities. Now missing, Keri is apparently a heavy drinker with a police record whom another family member says may be paranoid schizophrenic. An agency called 'Choices' received Ontario provincial funding to operate and oversee this and other group homes in the region. Two days before Guy died, staff at Choices gave Guy's group home a passing grade. Dr. Jack Stanborough, the coroner in Guy Mitchell's case was not impressed by Choices and he said so during his inquest.