“There is no intention or plans in place for GDC to close,” said Davis. “There are plans in place for GDC to slowly downsize as we have announced for the last year.”
The goal is for GDC to reach a census of 192 individuals by June 30, 2011. As of Monday, there were 201 residents living there. The downsizing is a result of the State of Ohio budget that was passed in July 2009. According to Davis, the facility now has less funding than it did in 2007.
Many of the residents are moving into private group homes nearer to family members. GDC’s goal is to ensure residents are living in the least restrictive environment possible for their particular needs, as opposed to living in a developmental center which, Davis said, is the most restrictive environment.
“Our goal is to get people back into the least restrictive environment and live in their own community,” said Davis.
The facility is working closely with County Boards of Developmental Disabilities and guardians, as well as residents, to make the transition into these environments as smooth as possible. In addition, “follow-along” services are provided to residents to help them during and following the move. The facility is still working to identify clients who would benefit from moving out of the center.
“And we have only identified people who want to (move),” said Davis. “There are people who choose not to and we have not pushed anyone who is not willing.”
As far as whether layoffs will occur, Davis said officials were still analyzing the situation. Davis said there has been a significant decrease already in residents, falling from 252 residents at the beginning of 2008.
“At some point our numbers will have to level out,” said Davis.
Davis said GDC works closely with County Board of DD and offers services outside the facility to help people stay in their own homes and communities.
Regarding Building 42, the proposed new location for Gallco Industries, Davis said the closing of that building is part of the census reduction and has nothing to do with the Gallco move. A committee is being formed to oversee the relocation of residents.
“This committee will involve direct care staff, professionals and members of management so we can adequately address the individual needs of the residents who may be impacted,” Davis wrote in a letter to staff dated March 30.
“It just so happened (the Gallia County Board of DD) had a need that corresponded with our plans,” said Davis. “We did not choose or close that building for Gallco.”
Davis said a partnership between the GC Board of DD and GDC is a logical move.
“We just see it as a natural pairing for us to share (the facility),” said Davis. “We are excited about it.”
However, Davis said there is no signed contract, nor has a firm date been established for the closing of the building. Right now, the goal is to have the building closed by July 2010. That will not happen, though, until all residents are successfully relocated, either within the facility or to outside areas.
“We don’t know how long it will take,” said Davis. “We want to do this slowly and thoughtfully. We want to take our time and make sure each person is looked at individually and their particular needs are met. We understand and appreciate how important GDC is to the Gallia County community. We don’t take that lightly.”