The good people at Sparc have had success moving individuals out of state institutions and we wanted to host and event for reporters at the Capitol about successful transitions. Our objective was to send a message that everyone can live in the community with proper supports. We were pleased that two television stations and the Associated Press came to the event. We hope to do more targeted meetings next week in the Capitol for members of the press and legislators.Join us for the event was Carlissa Puckett, Sparc; Shirley Perez, Family Support Network and Joe Bishop a former resident at Jacksonville and Lincoln Developmental Centers. Joe now lives in an apartment with a roommate!

Joe being interviewed by TV reporter

Shirley Perez, Carlissa Puckett, Tony & Joe speaking to the press.

It was a good event. The group home where we held the event had two individuals who had move out of Murray and Howe. Here is one of the stories that ran today.

SPARC Open House Reflects State Budget Cuts

Finding a new home can be difficult for just about anyone. But if you’re challenged with a physical or mental disability, it’s even tougher. On Monday a Springfield organization held an event with the goal of helping those who want to help themselves. SPARC held a “community residence” open house geared specifically toward those who may soon have to relocate from state institutions, like the Jacksonville Developmental Center, which is slated to close later this year due to state budget cuts.

“SPARC” stands for The Springfield chapter of “ARC”, the oldest and largest organization helping people with intellectual  and developmental disabilities live more independent lives, worldwide.

“We believe that everybody can live in the community as long as the proper supports are in place” said Tony Paulauski, the Executive Director of  The Arc of Illinois. “And we think that the ‘rebalancing institution’ that is planned has all of the key components that are going to make for a successful and safe transition into community living.”

When Paulauski refers to “rebalancing institution” he is referring to Governor Quinn’s plan to cut billions from the State budget by closing down State-run institutions, like the JDC, and transitioning those residents into a more independent group home. Most of the residents who do that are far more involved in the decision making process, and are therefor far more involved in their day to day care, says SPARC.

Monday’s Open House also offered one-on-one meetings with SPARC nurses and “self advocates” who could give future residents and their families a better idea of daily the daily health support and training necessary for residents to be more independent.SPARC Open House Reflects State Budget Cuts

Posted: Monday, May 7 2012, 09:53 PM CDT 

Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
815-464-1832 (CELL)