We had some fantastic events over the weekend!

Congratulations to Sarah & Daniel Chavez! Sarah, our Marketing Coordinator, got
married on Saturday!

Also on Saturday, the Ligas Family Advocates headed to Alton for an informational
session on the Ligas Consent Decree for Ligas Class Members leaving the PUNS
Waiting List. The Ligas Family Advocates (LFA’s) team are here to help you connect
with other families and inform you about additional options through the Ligas Family
Advocate Program.

Director Casey at an Informational Session in Chicago

Some of the topics covered in the session included:

  • Have you heard about the Ligas Consent Degree and want to know what it is
    all about?
  • Are you a Ligas class member who recently received a letter stating you are
    eligible to apply for services and you want to know ALL the options available
    to you and your family?
  • Have you been approved for funding and not sure what options are available
    for you/your loved one?

The Alton session was hosted by Impact and their Executive Director, Cathy
Contarino. Thank you Cathy!


Missy, Kim, Toni, Shirley & Cathy Contarino at the Alton Informational



Click on to these links for more detailed information.

Know Your Options – South Chicago

Know Your Options – Hazel Crest


Yesterday, Shirley Perez, Executive Director of the Family Support Network, met
with Director Kevin Casey and Court Monitor Tony Records. The meeting was an
update on the implementation of the Ligas Consent Decree. Next month, the
Court Monitor will issue his third report on implementation of the decree.

After that meeting, I headed over to National Public Radio for an interview on
rebalancing the disability system and closing state institutions.


Monday evening, I was pleased to see that the Belleville Council approved a
permit for a small group home. I do not think they even needed a permit to move in,
but the Council did the right thing by approving it. Not sure if a possible federal
lawsuit about fair housing had anything to do with the vote! See story below from
the Belleville News Democrat.


Belleville Council approves permit for group home

News-Democrat August 18, 2014

BELLEVILLE — Four adults with intellectual disabilities will soon move into a
subdivision off Green Mount Road now that the Belleville City Council approved a
special use permit for the group home on Monday.

After the 9-6 council vote, some Green Mount Manor subdivision residents said they
still want to hire an attorney to inform them of their rights to fight the group home’s
placement in the subdivision.

Paul Dutton, a board member of the subdivision’s Homeowners Association, said
he also wants to probe further into the history of TDL Group, the business that will
provide 24-hour care at the home.

Dutton said it is unclear whether TDL Group has to abide by the Homeowners
Association covenant when purchasing the home on 212 Turning Leaf Circle. He
also wants to know if the home is in compliance with building codes, and if any exterior
or interior modifications have to be made to the single-story house.

When asked about residents’ concerns, Tonya Lindsey, owner of TDL Group, said
the home will follow all Illinois Department of Human Services regulations.

“We’re very happy it was approved and we’ll do our best to reach out to neighbors and
alleviate their concerns,” Lindsey said of the council’s vote Monday night.

Lindsey said TDL Group has not set a date for the four residents to move into the
community integrated living arrangement.

Aldermen voted on the issue after hearing from six residents during public participation
and discussing the matter in executive session for about 45 minutes.

The city’s attorneys and an attorney for TDL Group previously asked city leaders to
consider the federal Fair Housing Act when making a decision on the permit issuance.

Aldermen who voted not to follow the Zoning Board’s recommendation to approve the
special use permit were: Ward 2 Alderwoman Melinda Hult, Ward 5 Alderman Joe
Hayden, Ward 6 Alderman Bob White, Ward 7 Alderman Trent Galetti, Ward 8
Alderman Joe Orlet and Alderwoman-at-Large Lillian Schneider.

Ward 1 Alderman Mike Heisler was absent.

White said his “no” vote is because TDL Group did not act in good faith by purchasing
a home in a subdivision knowing they would violate the Homeowners Association’s

Schmidt said the four disabled residents have a right to live in a home of their

The group home only needs a special use permit in this case because the
subdivision was built as a planned unit development in an area that has a commercial

“Anywhere else in this city, we would not be having this discussion,” Schmidt said.
The four disabled residents are currently living in Belle Manor, another TDL group
home in Belleville, and neighbors have no complaints about the home or residents,
Schmidt said.

Before the vote to approve the permit, Schneider asked to postpone the vote by a
month so aldermen and residents have more time to get answers to their questions.

For instance, residents continue to question the impact on the subdivision’s property
values and future zoning requests based on approval of this case.

At a Aug. 4 council meeting, aldermen delayed a vote on the issue so that subdivision
residents could meet with TDL Group to sort out concerns and misunderstandings.
The two sides did not meet.

Contact reporter Jacqueline Lee at jlee@bnd.com or 618-239-2655. Follow her on
Twitter athttps://twitter.com/BNDJLee.

Read more here: http://www.bnd.com/2014/08/18/3356291_belleville-council-

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)