[Hpn] ADAPT, October 20-25th For Chance

Thomas Cagle nh-adapt@juno.com
Thu, 11 Oct 2001 08:24:24 -0400


For Immediate Release

Contacts:

Bob Kafka, 512/431-4085
Marsha Katz, 406/829-9495

ADAPT Tells S.F. "Don't Use Public $$$ to Rebuild a Dinosaur-There's a
Better Way!"

San Francisco---ADAPT, the nation's largest grassroots  disability rights
group, thinks that the City by the Bay must be caught in an  oppressive
time warp as it moves to rebuild the world's largest nursing home  rather
than direct efforts and funding to support citizens in their own homes.
Determined to make Mayor Willie Brown hear the moral outrage of the
nation's  disability community, 500 members of ADAPT, joined by hundreds
more  Californians, will be in San Francisco October 20-25 to protest the
reconstruction of the city/county-owned and operated 1200 bed Laguna
Honda.

For over 30 years America has been working to downsize and close  state
institutions and nursing homes for children and adults with developmental
and other disabilities. In recent years, both the former Clinton and
current  Bush Administrations have supported and are funding community
based alternatives  and initiatives to keep Americans from being forced
into nursing homes and other  institutions. In 1999 the U.S. Supreme
Court
mandated that states and local  governments couldn't force people into
institutional settings if the needed  services and supports could be
provided in their own homes in the community.

"Despite federal law, social trends and sustained vocal opposition from
the California disability community, the City of San Francisco and the
unions  marketed and passed a bond issue to rebuild the 1200 bed Laguna
Honda by  essentially hoodwinking the public," said Stephanie Thomas of
ADAPT. "They never  once told the voters that this bond money can be
redirected to build many  community living alternatives that would not
warehouse over a thousand people  with disabilities, and they never once
asked the old and young people warehoused  in Laguna Honda what they
want."

Convinced the City's plan to rebuild  Laguna Honda is a violation of
federal law, ADAPT has filed a formal complaint  with the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights  (HHS/OCR). ADAPT is
asking HHS/OCR to stop federal funding and   reimbursements until the
city
works with the disability community to  develop a "Community Alternatives
Transition Plan" that would redirect the bond  money designated to
rebuild
Laguna Honda to provide community based long term  care services.

"Rebuilding is an outrage and a deplorable use of public  money," said
Jana
Overbo, of San Francisco's Independent Living Resource Center  (ILRC).  "
I'm an aging baby boomer, and I want to know that my community  will
still
include me as I lose function, not ship me off to a huge institution 
like
an unwanted pet going to the humane society, never to be seen again."


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