Call for funding help for those with developmental disabilities - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Call for funding help for those with developmental disabilities

By Diane Walker - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Advocates for people with developmental disabilities are calling on the governor to restore funding.

They say it's bad policy to build a $23 million state facility in Chesapeake -- while eliminating services that keep people in the community.

Advocacy organizations say, it's a throw back 50 years, to rebuild state institutions -- for people, who they say, can live with their families or in group homes with the right support.

"I live here a long time, Diane, and you like it here? I like it. (shakes head) I like it. all my friends, Paulette."

Alice Hanna was 13 when she was sent to a state institution. She came out 27 years later.

In 1963, there were no mandated special services for people like Alice.

She lives in a group home now with four others, and staff. Unlike living on a ward, the 60 year old has her own room and responsibilities.

"Community achievement award. You did some great work to get this."

I asked Alice her opinion, group home vs. institution?

"Ain't no more. I live here, yea. Was that a happy time or a sad time back then? ..... Sad," Alice said.

Advocates argue the cost differential is significant. According to the ARC of Virginia, $194,000 dollars, a year, per person, to live in a state facility. $95,000 for group home, community care.

The governor has said all his proposed cuts have been difficult.

"We're trying to be good fiscal stewards and trying not to create .... Or pessimism... If it's now warranted," Gov. Bob McDonnell said.

Kaitlin has spinal bifida. The 22 year old is one of 6,000, waiting for services.

Taking care of her is a family affair. Her mother says cuts to respite care and other services are devestating.

"I can't understand how the legislature overlook people in the community with developmental disabilities," Kaitlin siad.

They literally fear the future. What would happen to Kaitlin, when her parents are gone?

"He would quit his job, he didn'thesitage at all before he would think of putting his sister in an institution," Susan Kramer said.

'The ARC of Virginia' says there are 17,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities at home with parents over 60.

These organizations want the governor to suspend rebuilding the Chesapeake facility and use the money to serve more people.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

  • Latest news from NBC12.comNEWSMore>>

  • Victim identified in deadly triple stabbing in Richmond

    Victim identified in deadly triple stabbing in Richmond

    Sunday, July 23 2017 12:33 PM EDT2017-07-23 16:33:05 GMT

           Richmond police are working a death investigation after three women are stabbed overnight in the city's northside.        The stabbing happened just after midnight in the 3500 block of North Avenue.        Police aren't telling us much -- but can confirm three women were stabbed, and one of them died from their injuries.       As for the other two victims -- on...

    More >>

           Richmond police are working a death investigation after three women are stabbed overnight in the city's northside.        The stabbing happened just after midnight in the 3500 block of North Avenue.        Police aren't telling us much -- but can confirm three women were stabbed, and one of them died from their injuries.       As for the other two victims -- on...

    More >>
  • Man shot to death in Petersburg

    Man shot to death in Petersburg

    Sunday, July 23 2017 11:09 AM EDT2017-07-23 15:09:48 GMT
    Police are in the beginning stages of a homicide investigation, after a man is found shot to death in Petersburg Sunday morning. Officers say they were called to the 2700 block of South Crater Road, around 2 a.m. When they got to the scene, police say they found a man, who had been shot multiple times. That man, 53-year-old Samuel Gee, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police continue to investigate, and say they're speaking to witnesses who were present during the shooting. If...More >>
    Police are in the beginning stages of a homicide investigation, after a man is found shot to death in Petersburg Sunday morning. Officers say they were called to the 2700 block of South Crater Road, around 2 a.m. When they got to the scene, police say they found a man, who had been shot multiple times. That man, 53-year-old Samuel Gee, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police continue to investigate, and say they're speaking to witnesses who were present during the shooting. If...More >>
  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Still Very Hot Tomorrow, More Strong Storms Possible

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Still Very Hot Tomorrow, More Strong Storms Possible

    Saturday, July 22 2017 10:36 PM EDT2017-07-23 02:36:05 GMT

    Get the latest forecast from the NBC12 First Alert Weather team.

    More >>

    Get the latest forecast from the NBC12 First Alert Weather team.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly