Being able to stay home is something many take for granted:
The case, Samantha R., et al. v. North Carolina, et. al, was filed in Wake County in May 2017. The suit claimed that North Carolina does not offer enough community-based supports for people with I/DD. Many people with I/DD would prefer to live in their home communities but have been placed into institutions in order to receive services. In addition, long waiting lists for services, and the lack of community services continue to put many people with IDD at risk for institutionalization.
The judicial order declares that the State and DHHS have violated a legal mandate – passed nearly 30 years ago – that people with disabilities may not be forced to live in institutional settings in order to get the services they need.
Even in the best of conditions, institutionalization is not a far cry from being in prison. You're only allowed very few personal items, privacy is pretty much non-existent, and just taking a stroll outside is considered a "perk" instead of a basic freedom. And it's not even more efficient. Extract from a BlueNC diary written in 2017:
The group says taxpayers now house disabled people in state-operated or privately run centers costing about $150,000 a year per resident, while providing needed services outside the institutions would be less than $60,000 per year.
Even if those cost numbers were around the break-even mark, "quality of life" issues alone should propel leaders to pursue the home care model. But to save the state $90,000 per-year per-person? That seems like a no-brainer, to me. Unless somebody's profiting from the institutional model and doesn't want that gravy train derailed. Wouldn't be the first time that factor was in play, especially when you take a step back and look at the for-profit prison formula plaguing our nation.
We definitely need to expand community services in NC, especially in areas that have lost hospitals and clinics.