Families of disabled adults fear loss of group home
Published Monday, August 29, 2011 5:18PM PDT
The families of four people living in a Richmond, B.C. group home fear their loved ones may be forced to move because of government cost-cutting.
Lynette Pollard-Elgert's 41-year-old daughter Rory has been living at the Williams Road Group Home for two decades, receiving 24-hour care alongside three other developmentally disabled adults.
"She has grown and thrived. She's involved in the community, she volunteers, she's involved in Special Olympics -- it's the best thing that's ever happened," Pollard-Elgert told CTV News.
But she worries that could be changing.
"I was called to meeting about a month ago and told that we had to have a plan in place by Aug. 31 because they were closing the home and she was going to go into a home share," she said.
That doesn't sit well with Rory.
"I don't want to go to the other house. I want to stay there in my own house," she said.
Home shares are similar to living with a foster family, but the opposition NDP says they also save money.
"They're less expensive, and that's ultimately the only thing this government is looking at," said Nicholas Simons, the New Democrat critic for community living.
Community Living BC, which oversees group homes, says that no final decision has been made about the future of the Williams Road centre.
"We don't know yet what's going to actually happen. We're just in the process of meeting with the families," said Paul Sibley, regional director for Community Living.
"The agency has identified that these individuals could be supported in a different way and so we're examining what that might look like."
He says the budget for Community Living has been increasing each year, but so has the number of people needing support.
The NDP says that per-client funding has dropped from a high of $51,183 in 2006-2007 to $45,320 this fiscal year. By 2013-2014, funding will be at $41,449 per client.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Maria Weisgarber