(CBS Connecticut) — Department of Developmental Services clients and their relatives gathered with unionized state employees today, to call for a halt to plans to privatize forty group homes for intellectually disabled people.
The move would eliminate hundreds of state employee jobs, and could force clients to adjust to different staff.
But The governor’s budget office says shifting the group homes to nonprofit organizations would save the state $70-million.
The relatives say their loved ones develop long-term relationships with the staff at their group homes. They say switching to private homes with different employees will be painful, and will result in greater staff turnover.
Lindsay Mathews’ son is in a state group home that would be effected.
It’s sort of like walking up to someone and saying ‘Oh, we are going to replace your spouse, but this spouse is going to cost a lot less. Same color hair, same size…’ We are talking about love here,” Mathews said.
Holding a picture of his son, Frank Ducharme called on the governor to change his mind, and keep the group homes under state operation.
“He’s picking on the wrong people who can’t even talk for themselves for Christ’s sake,” Ducharme said. “He’s lucky we don’t take him to court and sue the hell out of him.”