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Question Are there out-of-home residential opportunities available for people with mental retardation and developmental disabilities?

Answer Yes. Governor Pataki's NYS-CARES program provides out-of-home residential opportunities throughout the State. New Yorkers with mental retardation and developmental disabilities who are eligible for services from the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities will find an array of residential opportunities available to them. New York's system for providing people with developmental disabilities with out-of-home residential services is community-based, having successfully transitioned from the former institutionally-based model. In the 1980's, the need for community-based opportunities out-paced their availability, and a waiting list for residential services was developed. Many lingered on waiting lists until, in August, 1998, Governor Pataki announced his comprehensive five-year plan to address their needs.

NYS-CARES, formally known as New York State - Creating Alternatives in Residential Environments and Services, addresses the needs of those currently on the waiting list for an out-of-home opportunity, and has renewed hope to aging family members and to individuals across New York State who had been waiting for a chance to live more independently. The program seeks to provide people with a residential opportunity as close to home and family as possible, and also provides support to families while they await their residential service.

The $245 million plan will provide approximately 8,100 people with a community based residential opportunity by 2003-04, and has been hailed by advocates for people with developmental disabilities as an historic and momentous national achievement that should be adopted across the entire nation. The NYS-CARES plan provides for 4,900 new community placements, approximately 1,000 new day service opportunities, family support services opportunities; and increased in-home residential supports.

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For more information about the NYS-CARES program and to read about its success, please go to OMRDD's web site.


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