Pathway emerges as state shutters JDC

Moving into a new home can be a stressful transition. Getting forced out of your old home can be even more difficult.

More than 100 residents at the Jacksonville Developmental Center are being relocated after a decision by the state in January to cut the budget and close the facility. A state panel officially set the closing date for Nov. 21, 2012 during a public hearing in Bolingbrook Tuesday.

It's a cost cutting measure that's costing people like Ellie Voth her family of 12 years at the facility.

A handful of residents packed up Tuesday and moved into new homes throughout the Jacksonville area. Ellie's mother, Janet Anderson, of Quincy, made sure the move took place while Ellie was away at work, hoping to ease the transition. This isn't her first move either. It's her third in the last 16 years. Ellie began receiving care at the Hope House in Springfield, then transferred to Lincoln Development Center in Lincoln. When that facility closed, Ellie moved to Jacksonville.

"Jacksonville was safe. It was her safe haven and now it's disrupted and for a lot of us parents, we thought our loved ones could remain there forever, but it didn't work that way," Anderson said. "I just hate to see Jacksonville close. It's been very hard. They were her friends and family for 12 years, and mine as well."

Anderson says Ellie was lucky to find a new home not far from her old one. She'll share a group home with three other girls and two trained supervisors from Pathway Services Unlimited.

"From the closing of JDC, we'll be taking about 32 people that we'll be finding homes for. That includes those that have already transitioned and those in the transitioning process," Marsha Bockman, with Pathway Services Unlimited said.

"She was very lucky, because the transition was so smooth and detailed, which needs to be done anytime you're going to have new people, new staff. You need to know everything about that person, or they're going to run away and then you've got the police department involved, because they don't know the clientele either," Anderson said.

She'd had concerns about group homes in the past, but Anderson feels this is the right place for her daughter.

"I think it's going to be very good for her, outside in the community. I think she'll adjust fine, but it's just one more transition," Janet said.

You can find a list of state developmental facilities here.