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Letter: Developmentally disabled deserve to have homes, too

Developmentally disabled deserve to have homes, too

In a July 17 letter, the writer raised serious and valid concerns about finding housing for disabled adults, especially those whose caregivers are aging. Many are reaching the point where continuing to keep those adult children in a family setting becomes too challenging. And they worry what will happen to their children if something happens to them.

In Western New York, we have a waiting list of more than 1,000 individuals whose families need to move their disabled children into homes. Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled, which has 1,000 employees and 60 facilities around Erie County, is currently looking to locate one home each in the towns of Boston and Eden. Despite opposition there, we know that a higher community need is being served.

In the next year, we plan three more homes in various communities in Western New York, but that will hardly reduce the backlog of families in need. Our agency is one of several working with our state partners to help these families. We want to highlight not only the need, but the broader community responsibility we all share to find homes for the developmentally disabled. Although it is a small percentage, these homes, by law, can include disabled sex offenders.

It is our responsibility to care for the disabled in towns where they grew up or want to live. We will continue to work hard to help these individuals find the homes they deserve and hope towns that oppose this will hear our collective voices and reconsider.

Mindy Cervoni

President and CEO, Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled