Urge your Legislators to Protect New Jerseyans with I/DD From Eviction
The New Jersey Department of Human Services' Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) is moving ahead, with the blessing of Governor Chris Christie, on two initiatives that will result in hundreds of New Jersey's most fragile citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) losing their homes.
The Governor recently announced a new, aggressive timeline for the closures of the North Jersey (by July 2014) and Woodbridge (by Jan 2015) Developmental Centers. These closures, being pursued by DDD, come at the same time as DDD is aggressively pursuing its "Returning Home New Jersey" initiative which seeks to move New Jersey citizens now receiving quality supports in other states (for lack of supports in New Jersey), back to New Jersey.
The vast majority of the hundreds of affected individuals with profound I/DD and their families/guardians OPPOSE these transitions. Woodbridge, North Jersey, and the targeted facilities in other states (including Woods Services, Melmark and Devereaux) are HOME to the affected residents, and have been for years, even decades. Many residents have experienced failed "community" placements and will predictably suffer if transitioned to unprepared, unlicensed smaller settings.
These proposals are dangerous and cruel. They are being pursued with a goal that money will be saved, but even that goal is highly questionable if adequate, life-sustaining services are provided. With a waiting list of more than 8,000, what makes New Jersey think they can safely serve individuals with profound I/DD with complex medical and behavioral challenges in already over-saturated, underfunded "community" system. And why? The affected individuals are already receiving great care.
Taking action is easy – just click here for a ready to send letter that will be sent directly to your legislators. Then share this alert with all your New Jersey family and friends on email lists and social media. (New Jersey residents only please.)
We believe strongly that a position in support of person-centered needs and choice is not only morally correct, but also legally justified by the Supreme Court's Olmstead decision. These individuals are already home. Please help by taking action today.