Disability Issues

Seguin offers community living to those with disabilities

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Governor Pat Quinn's rebalancing initiative redirects state funding to support community-based living options. Governor Pat Quinn's rebalancing initiative redirects state funding to support community-based living options.

As a result, people with developmental disabilities are moving from state institutions into communities.

Seguin Services has found homes for more than 10 individuals from Jacksonville's state institution.

Six months ago, four men moved into a beautiful house in La Grange. It's one of several group homes owned and staffed by Seguin Services.

"Originally they lived all over the state. We have one individual in particular that lives here," said Joseph Mengoni, vice president of residential and clinical services. "It's all based on the needs and so on of the person centered plans has generated a preliminary kind of budget that's sent to the department of human services and then they run it through their rates and they're actually paying for everything that the individual needs to maintain a life in the community."

So far, everyone is adapting well, Mengoni said.

"The first couple of weeks everyone is getting to know everybody," he said. "I think the big difference is offering them choices and letting them pick what they want to do, where they want to go which bedroom they wanted you know they don't have to live with other people."

One of the four living there is 24-year-old Dony Scott. His mother Gwendolyn Jones-Scott said her son lived in Jacksonville's institution for 18 months.

"He wanted to come back to Chicago. He kept saying I want to move back to Chicago. I want to move to take me to a group home in Chicago," Jones-Scott said. "He's happy. He's at peace, and I like to see him happy and at peace and he just feels like he is doing something. He feels grown up."

"I think there's still about a hundred people that are still down there, many of them have already, you know, have providers that are committed to providing services. It's just a matter of getting their homes ready," said Mengoni. "We have another home that has become available in our inventory, and so we're going to bring another four people up to that home."

More info at seguin.org, http://ilga.gov/ and http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/97/SB/09700SB3690.htm

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