To Virginia's Governor, the Future Governor and the General Assembly: Stop the Arbitrary Closure of Virginia's Training Homes

To Virginia's Governor, the Future Governor and the General Assembly: Stop the Arbitrary Closure of Virginia's Training Homes

    1. Maurine Houser
    2. Petition by

      Maurine Houser

      Reston, VA

The Commonwealth of Virginia has 5 training centers that provide safe and supportive environments for more than 800 individuals with significant intellectual disabilities (ID), most of whom also have either severe behavioral problems or complex medical needs. Virginia has decided to close 4 of the centers on an arbitrary schedule, before good placements have been found for each and every resident. If a community placement is not found for a resident by the stated closure date, Virginia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) has said that the resident will be sent to another training center many hours away from family and their communities, only to await its closure. Virginia is continuing down this path even though the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and federal District Court Judge John Gibney have stated that the DOJ-Virginia Settlement Agreement to increase community living options for people with ID does not require the closure of these training centers, and that the final decision resides in the hands of the General Assembly. While the General Assembly supports strong measures to assure quality care for those who choose community placements, it has not endorsed this closure plan. Nonetheless, the DBHDS continues to pressure representatives of training center residents to move their medically fragile and severely disabled loved ones into communities that are not ready to receive them. Several Community Service Boards, which provide pre-admission screening, have stated that they are not able to provide services for this population on such a short schedule and with the current Medicaid stipend per person (Medicaid waiver). While Virginia plans to seek an enriched Medicaid waiver, any new waiver will not be ready before scheduled closures. Inadequate waivers hurt all disabled Virginians; those already in the community on waiting lists for services, and those being discharged from training centers without adequate and necessary services in place.



We the undersigned Virginia Residents and interested parties, 18 years of age or older, ask the next Governor and the General Assembly to:

ü  SLOW DOWN THIS CLOSURE PROCESS and take a closer look at the needs of Virginia’s most vulnerable and fragile population.

ü  REMOVE THE ARBITRARY, UNREALISTIC TIMELINE FOR DISCHARGE.   Make sure that each of these individuals is living in the safest, most appropriate setting of their choosing.

ü  DO NOT TRANSFER THESE INDIVIDUALS MANY HOURS AWAY from their families because the DBHDS decided to close a training center before an appropriate local community home could be found or built.

ü  CONSIDER ALL THE OPTIONS, including downsizing current training centers and sharing grounds with other groups needing similar services to achieve economies of scale. 

ü  CONSIDER THE HUNDREDS OF LOST JOBS of highly skilled Virginians if the training centers close.   

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Stop the Arbitrary Closure of Virginia's Training Homes

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Recent signatures


    1. NVTC Closure Delayed

      Maurine Houser
      Petition Organizer

      In the words of Peter Kinzler, “The State giveth – and the State taketh away!” Virginia has acknowledged the reality on the ground and has postponed the closure date for NVTC from March 2015 to March 2016. In turn, to fund more community services, Virginia has declared NVTC to be excess property, so that it can now be offered for sale. However, any sale process will take time, providing an opportunity for the SB627 work group to consider the issue. Peter will represent us on the work group, which will hold its first meeting tomorrow, July 2. If we can drive home our points via the work group, we may be able to limit the amount of land sold, while the delay of the closure date provides badly needed time to build the necessary infrastructure in the community.

    2. Reached 5,000 signatures
    3. Communities are Fighting Against having the Disabled in their Neighborhood

      Maurine Houser
      Petition Organizer

      Some community members are fighting against the building of group homes in their neighborhoods, which will need to be done State wide, if Virginia's Training Centers close. Despite the objections of the families of the disabled, the providers who manage community homes, the Community Services Boards and the community the government is going forward with their plan. We need your continued support in getting others to sign this very important petition. Thank you.

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    4. Parents Fight for their Disabled Children in Virginia

      Maurine Houser
      Petition Organizer
      Parents of disabled adults fighting center's closing

      FAIRFAX, Va. (WUSA9) -- Some five thousand people have signed a petition to stop the closing of the Northern Virginia Training Center and other state centers that serve the developmentally disabled. At the Training Center in Fairfax, several aging parents say the state is bullying them to move their children out with no good options.

    5. Reached 4,000 signatures
    6. Coverage in Fairfax County, Virginia

      Maurine Houser
      Petition Organizer
      Fairfax Families Say They Need More Time In Mental Services Closure Plan

      More than 5,000 people are petitioning the upcoming closing of Northern Virginia Training Centers - which provide services for the developmentally and intellectually disabled - across the state

    7. Governor McDonnell Give Us an Answer!

      Maurine Houser
      Petition Organizer
      Petition, letter to governor among efforts to keep training centers open -

      Petition, letter to governor among efforts to keep training centers open A letter to Governor Bob McDonnell and an online petition are among the new efforts to keep Virginia's training centers open, including the Southwestern Virginia Training Center in Carroll County.

    8. Keep Up the Pressure: Share the Petition and Get More Signatures!

      Maurine Houser
      Petition Organizer
      Officials Hold Meeting Over Future of Training Centers

      Amherst Co., VA - A group of Virginia lawmakers met Thursday to discuss the future of training centers in the state. This following a long fight from parents and families of people enrolled in those facilities. Martha Bryant is one of the women spearheading a state wide effort to keep training centers open.

    9. We Have Them Doubting!

      Maurine Houser
      Petition Organizer
      Legislators question training-center closure deadline

      The agency reported its progress to a General Assembly subcommittee Thursday at a meeting attended by nearly 100 people, many of whom have relatives in the training centers. The department seeks to meet the terms of an agreement between Virginia and the U.S.

    10. Keep Fighting and Spread the Word: More News Coverage!

      Maurine Houser
      Petition Organizer

      Families continue fight to keep training centers for disabled

      Smiling is one of the few things Robert Lattimer can do to greet a visitor. "He is totally unable to speak or do anything for himself physically," said Lillian Johnson, Lattimer's legal guardian. He lives at the Central Virginia Traning Center (CVTC), where he gets round-the-clock care and regular visits from Johnson.

    11. Reached 3,000 signatures
    12. Reached 2,500 signatures
    13. We've made the News!

      Maurine Houser
      Petition Organizer

      The Galax Gazette covered our petition in their July 5, 2013 edition! See the following link for the full article.

      Online petition pushes to keep SWVTC open

      WOODLAWN - An online petition to keep open Virginia's training centers for the intellectually disabled, including the facility in Carroll County, has set a goal of collecting 10,000 signatures against the action. Gov.

    14. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Larry Mullins BEVERLY HILLS, CA
      • 3 months ago

      My sister has been a happy resident of CVTC for 45 years. Privatization will lessen the spectrum of experiences a patient will be exposed too while increasing the stress on patients, staff and families.

      • 9 months ago

      I am an avid supporter of rights for the disabled and at my Federal Agency we employ many thousands of disabled people, both Federal workers and contractors.

    • Courtney von Bostel CHANTILLLY, VA
      • 10 months ago

      I have volunteered at Northern VA Training Center in the past and I truly believe in the wonderful work they do.

    • Rebecca Mitchell KINGSPORT, TN
      • 12 months ago

      I feel that it fills a need to those in need and who definitely need the assistance. Please don't close them.

    • sherry pendergrass CEDAR BLUFF, VA
      • about 1 year ago

      My daughter goes to a day center. Why do they want to do this to them they need this. These centers helps them in there every day life. Do not take this away. Shame on them if they do......


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