Harrisburg, PA – The Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller today announced the Hamburg State Center for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities will officially close on August 3, 2018. The closure of Hamburg Center will come 19 months after the January 11, 2017, announcement of the planned closure of the facility, which is in Berks County. There were 80 individuals living at the center in January 2017.
“Research shows that when an individual with an intellectual or developmental disability lives in a community setting, quality of life improves, and more opportunities arise for social participation, community integration, relationships with family and friends, and employment,” said DHS Secretary Miller. “Transitioning residents of the Hamburg State Center will help them grow and thrive in new ways and sets the foundation for a long-term increased quality of life.”
The Hamburg closure is part of the Wolf Administration’s commitment to reduce reliance on institutional care, serve more people in the community, and most importantly, make it possible for people to live an everyday life, as their fellow citizens do.
Growth in community services around the commonwealth is making it possible for individuals residing in institutional settings to move to the community and for individuals on waiting lists to get services they need to fully participate in community life.
Community-based living increases quality of life for individuals with disabilities. Being involved in community life creates opportunities for new experiences and interests, the potential to develop friendships, and the ability to make a contribution to the community. An interdependent life, where people with and without disabilities are connected, enriches the lives of everyone.
The Office of Administration, Human Resources, and Labor Relations have been able to secure employment opportunities for the majority of the 351 employees who were employed at Hamburg Center. Most of the employees have either transferred to other commonwealth employment opportunities or have retired.
SOURCE: news release