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Money From Fairview Sale To Go To Individuals And Families
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
September 14, 2004

SALEM, OREGON--Here's a grand idea: Let's close institutions and move the people out into the community. Then we'll sell the old facility property, and give the money to people so they can live independently in their own homes.

Well, what do you know? That's exactly what is happening in Oregon, right now.

Fairview Training Center was closed and the last residents moved out into the community in February of 2000.

The closure happened, in part, to settle lawsuits filed in the 1980's by the Oregon Advocacy Center on behalf of The Arc of Oregon, and the U.S. Department of Justice, which claimed Fairview staff violated the residents' civil rights.

In 1999, Oregon lawmakers passed a law earmarking money generated from any sale of former institution property to go into a Fairview Community Housing Trust Fund. Interest from the trust fund and up to 5 percent of the principle are to be held for special grants so people with developmental disabilities can live as independently as possible in their homes. Those people and their families can then apply for the grants to purchase such things as wheelchair ramps, bathroom modifications, assistive technology and other equipment.

The 274-acre Fairview campus was sold over a year ago to a group of investors who wanted to develop a community with houses, industries, businesses and stores within a closed-loop economy.

The sale is expected to generate $15.1 million over six years, according to an Oregon Department of Human Services press statement.

So, this past Spring, $145,000 was awarded to 63 families around the state. Now $150,000 more is available in the form of individual grants of $5,000 or less.

None of the money can go to licensed facilities.

"This is a big deal," Gerald Stolp, manager of the Seniors and People with Disabilities housing section at DHS. "People with developmental disabilities living in their own homes or families with a child with a developmental disability have extremely limited housing resources available to them."

"What a great way to use money generated from the sale of an institution -- to help people stay in their own homes and live as independently as possible."

Fairview, which was opened in 1908 as the Oregon State Institution for the Feeble-Minded, at one time housed as many as 3,000 people with developmental disabilities.

Eastern Oregon Training Center, in Pendleton, still houses approximately 50 people with developmental disabilities.

"New round of grants from Fairview sale help Oregonians with developmental disabilities stay in their own homes" (Oregon Department of Human Services)
"Fairview The Closing Chapter" (People First of Oregon)
"So Long Fairview: Oregon Institution Closes Its Doors For Good" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)

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