Judge Orders New York to Move Mentally Ill Out of Adult Homes
From the New York Times:
New York State must begin moving thousands of people with mental illness into their own apartments or small homes and out of large, institutional adult homes that keep them segregated from society, a federal judge ordered on Monday. The decision, by Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of Federal District Court in Brooklyn, followed his ruling in September that the conditions at more than two dozen privately run adult homes in New York City violated the Americans With Disabilities Act by leaving approximately 4,300 mentally ill residents isolated in warehouselike conditions.
The remedial plan offered by Judge Garaufis, drawn from a proposal presented by advocates for the mentally ill that was backed by the Justice Department, calls on New York to develop at least 1,500 units of so-called supported housing a year for the next three years in New York City. That would give nearly all residents the opportunity to move out of adult homes.
The Americans with Disabilities Act gives PWDs the right to live in the least restrictive housing possible – in this case, moving from adult homes into independent supportive living units. This is a great development for those previously forced to live in the abusive conditions of the group homes.
This lawsuit was filed after a series of articles in the NY Times about the horrific and abusive conditions present in group homes for adults with mental disabilities. It is unclear whether these changes would have taken place had the newspaper not devoted the time and resources to their year-long investigation of these conditions and problems.