Generational Divide Creates Split Over Institutions
In the latest chapter of a running battle between old and new, Virginia families are at odds over whether an institution for those with disabilities should be rebuilt or dismantled.
The facility, which houses 133 adults, was slated to be the first institution in Virginia to close down. Instead, under pressure from families of residents — many of whom have called the facility home for decades — the state is breaking ground on a $23.7 million replacement for the deteriorating compound.
Families of residents say the facility has served their loved ones well and that they shouldn’t be forced to move.
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But parents of those in younger generations who have grown up in the community say that with so many of the state’s resources going to maintain costly institutions as opposed to community-based programs, their children ironically may be forced into unnecessary institutionalization themselves. Currently, more than 5,000 Virginians are on a state waiting list for community-based services.
Nationally, about 33,000 people continue to live in institutions, down from 186,743 in 1970. Virginia is one of only 11 states that has yet to close any of its facilities, reports The Washington Post. To read more click here.