Letter to the Editor

Closing Hab Center and not building group homes on the campus raises concerns about residents care

Friday, August 20, 2010

Dear Editor,

Looks like the state has pushed through with it's plan to close the campus at Nevada Habilitation Center. Congratulations to many of you on your "great victory." The sad thing is because of the advocacy by government agencies and budget cuts, we are going to have folks pushed out of Nevada Habilitation Center into the community where services do not exist to aid with the diverse behavioral, medical, and development disabilities our loved were born with.

Oh, they say they exist, but no one has shown them to me over the past eight years! I have asked and asked to be shown these services, but no one has been forthcoming with any services in the Springfield area.

I am also saddened for those individuals and families on waiting lists needing the specialized services and care the staff is well trained to provide, but now will never receive the help they so desperately need. Is there no where else in the budget to make cuts that would not so dramatically affect the lives of so many of the state's weakest members?

Many of our residents will die. It's not a matter of if, just when! You just mark it down! These people (government agencies) have no idea what they have done to our loved ones. The move from Benton Hall to Vernon Hall has been terribly upsetting to the residents. We have one gentlemen that is refusing to eat because he is so distraught that he has to move from his "family"; a brother who is completely out of sorts having such anxiety; my sister has been having seizures for five days in a row now (she usually has only one to two per year).

One gentlemen, who has a public administrator for his guardian, has been placed (forced) out in the community and has been sent to jail on a regular basis because the community can not deal with his behavioral challenges and he is not being allowed to go back to the habilitation center for crisis intervention. This is just the tip of the iceberg as to the problems already happening.

This is all due to the changes, uncertainty and ruckus going on. So this is better for our loved ones? This is improving their lives?

Thank you Missouri Planning Council for Developmental Disabilities, Missouri Protection & Advocacy, ADA, ARC, Governor Nixon, Missouri House and Senate (who voted for these changes), DMH, etc.

You have really helped our loved ones and improved their lives. Thank you for completely turning their lives upside down and inside out!

We pray it will get better, but fear many lives will be and are already in danger. We (our loved ones) have to live with the decisions that have been made for them regarding their care and lives, I hope all of these agencies can "live" with the decisions they helped make!

Of course, this does not affect their dear daughter, son, brother, or sister, so I am sure they could really care less. What happened to our State motto of caring for the most weakest among us?

Seems to me the weakest are being tossed out like trash.

Angry, fearful and heart-


Natalie Woods,

NHC Family Support

Assoc., president