Friday, March 4, 2011

Mo. Senate bill would shut down habilitation centers

DEXTER, MO (KRCU) - Families who have loved ones in Missouri’s Habitation Centers are organizing a town hall meeting tonight in Dexter to discuss a State Senate bill that would close the centers by 2018.

The bill, introduced by Senator Scott Rupp (R-St. Charles), would end new enrollment at Hab Centers by August of this year.

Hab Centers house residents with severe mental retardation or other conditions which require constant care that cannot be provided at home. There are six hab centers in Missouri, including in Sikeston and Poplar Bluff.

The Senate bill calls for residents to be transferred to privately-owned care communities.

But that doesn’t sit well with Joyce Dixon, whose son resides at the Poplar Bluff center. Like many other parents, she had tried privately-owned care communities in the past, and she was not impressed.

"There was not that consistency, that continuity of care. There was not that follow-up to make sure that these people were meeting the safety guidelines, that this safety net was there for them," Dixon said.

650 individuals are housed in Missouri Habilitation Centers.

Senate Leader Rob Mayer (R-Dexter) will attend today'’s town hall meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the Dexter Inn.

KRCU, Jacob McCleland


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