Important Coverage

RECEIVED Mon., May 4, 2015

Dear Editor,
    The Chronicle's May 1 story containing interviews with guardians of Austin State Supported Living Center (SSLC) residents [“Guardians Fight On to Save SSLC,” News] was heartbreaking. Their personal stories tell of the anguish they feel on knowing the Living Center might be closed. Their distress is warranted – their loved ones, along with many other mentally and physically disabled individuals, will lose the good care and services that only the Center provides. It is shocking to know that our elected officials are so indifferent and uncaring that they are willing to evict the most helpless among us from their home of many years.
    In the Chronicle story, a state senator inferred that no one wants to live at the Austin facility by his statement, "We don't have a waiting list of clients that want to join and be admitted to SSLCs..." That is a blatant twisting of facts. There is no waiting list of this sort because the state agency that oversees SSLCs does not keep one. That same agency instituted a moratorium on entrance to the Austin SSLC years ago. Therefore, the many who want and need to live there are not allowed to. And when people who need help with placement of a loved one have gone to their local authority, which they must do, they have not been given the option of an SSLC.
    Guardians, who know very well that residents of the Austin State Supported Living Center have the best possible quality of life there, must continue the good fight. And the Chronicle should continue to inform the public about the dire consequences of closing the Center.
Sally Feutz
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