What is the Fifth Circuit Public Guardian Corporation?
The Fifth Circuit Public Guardian Corporation is a 501(c)(3) charity that was formed by a group of concerned citizens (including judges, lawyers, law enforcement and social service agencies) in January 2001, to address a critical need for a public guardianship program in Marion, Lake, Sumter, Citrus and Hernando County. The Public Guardian Corporation is appointed by the Court to care for adults who are indigent and who are the victims of dementia, serious mental illness or are developmentally disabled. The Public Guardian Program is only appointed to care for persons who are mentally incapacitated and have no family or friends to help them, or whose family or friends have exploited them.
How do we help our clients?
These individuals are at risk of serious illness or death because they are going without proper medical care, food and housing. These persons need a guardian to assess their medical and mental health condition, obtain needed medical and mental health treatment, sign for medical consent, apply for government benefits and services (i.e. Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and VA benefits), make appropriate placement, for example, in an assisted living facility, skilled nursing facility or group home as a permanent home for the ward.
Where does our funding come from?
The Department of Elder Affairs and United Way of Marion County provide much of the agency funding. We also receive small grants from the Marion County Sheriff, the Marion County Bar Association, the local chapter of the Florida state Guardian Association, as well as civic groups, private foundations and donations from local citizens.
Where do our referrals come from?
Marion County Sheriff’s Department, Adult Protective Services, Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Facilities, Marion County Citizens, and Marion County Mental Health Court (to divert mentally incompetent people from jail).
The hardworking team behind Fifth Circuit Public Guardian Corp. are Michelle, Angie, Libby, Sue and Attorney/Executive Director Cathy.