Governor Quinn today addressed the "Going Home" rally, hosted by several disability advocacy groups, and emphasized his commitment to improving the lives of people with developmental disabilities and mental challenges in Illinois. As part of his agenda to ensure all people have the opportunity to follow their dreams and reach their full potential, Governor Quinn launched his Rebalancing Initiative in 2011 to increase community care and reduce the number of outdated, expensive institutions.
In the last several years, the governor has closed two State-Operated Developmental Centers (SODCs), and increased community care options in Illinois which are proven to provide a higher quality, more independent life, according to numerous studies. A third institution - the Warren G. Murray Developmental Center - is slated for closure later this year.
"This is a historic time for Illinois as we continue our commitment to change the status quo and improve life for people with disabilities and mental health challenges in Illinois," Governor Quinn said. "Moving from outdated institutions to community care is improving Illinois' quality of care and allowing people to lead more independent and fulfilling lives."
Hundreds of supporters and advocates gathered today in support of the governor's Rebalancing Initiative. Numerous studies show that individuals living in the community have a better quality of life than those living in large institutions. Community settings allow individuals to receive the care they need, including 24-hour care. In addition, community care is also significantly less costly than institution-based care. The average cost for Murray Center is $239,000 per year per resident, while the average cost for a Murray resident living in the community while receiving the supports they need is estimated at $120,000 per year.
The governor's proposed fiscal year 2014 budget will move 1,150 individuals into community living, home-based services including 500 individuals off of the waiting list. The Quinn Administration has developed a comprehensive, person-centered plan to transition residents safely into the community, ensuring that each individual's new home meets their specific needs. The plan is being implemented carefully and responsibly over the next several months to ensure a smooth transition for residents.
"We are working closely with families and guardians using a person-centered planning process to ensure safe transitions for residents of Murray Center," Kevin Casey, director of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Division of Developmental Disabilities said. "We developed a comprehensive, well thought out plan to transition Murray residents safely into the community and ensure that each individual's new home will meet their specific needs."