Woman with developmental disabilities thankful for county agency’s investigative unit

Local News

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A client of the Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities (MCBDD) is speaking out on behalf of one of the agency’s lesser-known departments, saying the kindness of its investigators got her through the toughest times.

MCBDD’s Provider Relations/Quality Assurance Department is an investigative unit that works closely with police departments to help provide the best quality of life.

Blase Brush is one of three investigators for MCBDD.

“You have to put them in a better place than they were before it happened,” he said.

It is Brush’s full-time job, making sure agency clients are safe and healthy.

“An incident happened, you find out why it happened, cause and contributing factors,” he said.

He’s helped one of his clients a few times, 25-year-old Shannon Streb, who is confined to a wheelchair and has had problems with her caretakers.

“Whether they were mistreating me or, unfortunately, taking from me,” she said.

That’s when Streb would call Brush.

“He would come out and get my statement and I would tell him what’s happening and he would investigate it from there and fix the problem,” she said.

Streb also had issues with someone close to her, who was stealing from her and keeping her cell phone.

“A lot of people in the community of MCBDD get taken advantage of,” she said.

But Brush and the MCBDD team make sure that doesn’t happen.

“It’s reassuring to know that someone will be there to help me. It’s not just me,” Streb said.

Streb has a 7-year-old son who she says is the light of her life. She feels the investigators help protect him too.

“He accepts me for me. Whether mommy’s in a wheelchair or not, I’m still mommy,” she said.

Streb said she hopes no one else goes through the type of problems she’s experienced, but if they do, they should know there is a great resource in the MCBDD’s investigative unit.

Director Tony Rinaldi said the department also focuses on prevention, making sure situations don’t repeat themselves.

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