The Missing Link

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

There are many reasons to oppose closure of Missouri Habilitation Centers proposed by Senate bill-SB56.

One reason is the first-rate staff working there. Habilitation center residents know their caregiver by the touch of a hand or the sound of a voice. Most of these residents have had the same caregivers for many years, irreplaceable, as much family as guardians are. They are our ears, our voice, our hands, and our hearts. That's why as a mother, I rest easier knowing my son receives care from these professionals.

We found the "missing link" in my son's care when we found SEMORS Habilitation Center, Poplar Bluff. We tried other community care homes, but never found the loving care that my son receives now. Many residents who have known no other home will see their death hastened when they are forced from their habilitation center.Passing SB56 is like pulling the plug on the Life Support needed by these residents, even as family and legal guardians loudly object.

Habilitation centers also have a significant impact on the economy.They employ hundreds of people who pay taxes. They support area businesses, like gas stations, grocers, banks, restaurants and retail stores.Many of these centers are in small communities. If a habilitation center closes, the local economy suffers. Our unemployment rate grows higher, and fabric of our community deteriorates further.

SB56 hurts our loved ones, the staff who care for them, and the local economy. Is there anyone on whom this bill will not have a tragic effect?

Submitted by,

Joyce Dixon - Parent/Guardian and

President of Semors Poplar Bluff-Sikeston Habilitation Centers

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