For 30 years, New York State has placed people with psychiatric disabilities in large, institutionalized adult homes where many remain for the rest of their lives. On September 8, a Federal judge ordered New York to offer residents of large adult homes an opportunity to move into community-based supported apartments. NY State could appeal the judge's decision and delay action for many more months, if not years. We're calling on residents, friends, family members, and mental health practitioners to join our letter-writing campaign and ask Governor Paterson NOT to appeal this case. It's time to provide “decent housing, not warehousing,” for New Yorkers with psychiatric disabilities.
This campaign is led by the Coalition of Institutionalized Aged and Disabled (CIAD). CIAD is a New York City-based advocacy organization run by and for adult home and nursing home residents. Our mission is to organize and educate residents, and empower them to tell their own stories. Here's Gary's story:
In this next video, another former resident, Coco Cox, also tells her story says: “Living in an adult home is not living a normal life. It’s living with people who are over the edge. It’s living where you ended up when YOU were over the edge. But once you’ve reached the point of wellness, you want to live the life of someone who is well. And that’s an independent life out in the community.”
Today 4,300 people with psychiatric disabilities live in 28 large adult homes in New York City. No supported housing units were set aside for this population until last year, when only 60 units were provided. Yet evidence shows that supported housing placements cost the same, or less, than adult home placements. Now the Federal District Court has confirmed residents' right to choice in housing under the Americans with Disabilities Act mandate that all Americans with disabilities have a right to live in the "most integrated setting" possible.
Write to Governor Paterson—ask him NOT to appeal this case and drag it out even longer. It’s time to provide supported housing for adult home residents who want to move out.
Former resident Gary Levin says, “When you break your arm, they put your arm in a cast. When your arm heals, they take the cast off—they don’t leave it on forever. If they left the cast on, your arm would become useless. Well, adult homes are like that. I went to an adult home when I couldn’t take care of myself, but when I got better, I needed to get out and take care of myself again. I didn’t need to be stuck there forever.”
To learn more and take action, visit the Coalition of Institutionalized Aged and Disabled.