Missouri habilitation centers could close by 2018 with Senate bill
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Missouri habilitation centers could close by 2018 with Senate bill

Date: March 15, 2011
By: Meghann Mollerus
State Capitol Bureau
Links: SB56 HB411

Intro: 
All mentally disabled Missourians could be moved from institutions to community homes by the year 2018, according to a bill heard in the Senate Health Committee.
RunTime:  0:43
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: The bill would implement a transition plan to move all residents from institutions into community homes and apartments with caregivers.

St. Louis Republican Senator John Lamping says this plan will benefit not only the residents moving into the community.

Actuality:  LAMPING.WAV
Run Time:  00:10
Description: "What a benefit to society by getting the community involved in understanding the lives of these people, and how rewarding that would be to people in the community. It'd make it a better place to live."

In response to Lamping, opponents and some parents of children with severe disabilities say an institution is the only place that can handle severe behavioral and violence problems.

The House floor discussed a similar bill, but has not yet voted on the measure.

From the Missouri State Capitol, I'm Meghann Mollerus.

Intro: 
Missourians with mental disabilities may have to move out of habilitation institutions by 2018, according to a bill heard in Senate Health Committee.
RunTime:  0:41
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: The bill would implement a transition plan for people to move from habilitation institutions to community homes and apartments with caregivers.

Parent Jackie Swinnie supports community living, even for those with severe disabilities.

Swinnie's son moved to an apartment with 24-hour care, where he lived out his 23 years.

Actuality:  SWINNIE.WAV
Run Time:  00:09
Description: "It was like night and day. I just felt so secure, my son was so well taken care of and happy, and loved his roommates."

Despite Swinnie's support for community living, another parent of a child with a severe disability says her son is too destructive to live anywhere but a habilitation center.

From the Missouri State Capitol, I'm Meghann Mollerus.

Intro: 
Missourians with mental disabilities may have to move out of habilitation institutions and into community homes, according to a bill heard in the Senate Health Committee.
RunTime:  0:44
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Parent Theresa Barnes says her son has a severe disability.

Because of this,she says he is violent and cannot live in a supervised home environment.

Actuality:  BARNES5.WAV
Run Time:  00:10
Description: "To me, I think of Henry and I think of attrition, and I think of this abrupt change that he cannot handle...and he will disintigrate, and he will die."
 
The bill would close institutions like the one Barnes's son is in and transition all residents into an accomodating home environment.

Bill supporters say communication skills learned in the community environment can reduce behavioral problems and destruction.

The bill sponsor says average daily costs of people living in community homes are less than daily institution costs.

From the Missouri State Capitol, I'm Meghann Mollerus.


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