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My Opinion on Group Homes Charles Schleininger corsair schleini@lemoorenet.com Here in California there has been a movement to close
all the institutions. But, people have to move into the
community. then comes the uproar. One would like to
see that society had finally seen the light of day but ,
the driving force was the cost. In 1985 it cost about
$60,000 to put someone in an institution. In 1999 it
was estimated that it would cost $90,000. As one
lawyer argued: "For that kind of money we can pay to
have someone live on the Rivera!"

Another point that gradually came out was only 2% of
the disabled population can not be trained to perform
a working task. (With todays computer technology
that may even be too high a figure). So moving people
into the community & providing job skills results in
them being tax payers. But more importantly gives
them self esteem.

A number of years ago an enterprising teacher
enrolled one of her disabled students at a local
Community College. The College took the money.
When the student showed up the College tried to balk.
But, since the student had payed they had no
recourse. A crack in the door. Soon there was a
program at Fresno State that served 25 students. At
that time dorm living was out. So the program director
rented 2 dorms. When housing found out they raised
cain but they had cashed the check. Within a year it
became a mute point. At the first graduation for this
group one student said: "I love this country. I love the
people that gave me a chance. I don't want a
disability check or welfare, I want a job." (This in a
County were 3,000 families are on welfare).

Interesting is the fact that we are communicating
because of alternating Current (AC). The man who
invented it was severely disabled.

Another point is the disabled were a population that
were institutionalized for never having committed a
crime! But unlike "normal" prisoners had no chance
for a parole & in fact were given a life sentence.

Little by little the barriers have come down, but like all
prejudice we still have a long way to go!



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