In the News


Kin of Developmental Center Residents Ask for Placements Closer to Home

NJ Spotlight

--September 03, 2014--

“Don’t you get it?” “You’re tearing families apart.” "I never was consulted, and I think I should have at least had some input on any kind of decision"

State hears concerns over developmental center closure

Home News Tribune

--September 03, 2014--

“This closure process has had a dramatic and negative impact on our families”

PUBLIC HEARING ON WOODBRIDGE DEVELOPMENTAL CENTER TUESDAY MORNING

Meeting is Tuesday Sept 2 at 10am

--August 30, 2014--

This is our chance to show up and get our questions answered about what is happening! See the notice in link above for time and place. Bring your questions for state officials to answer. If you need a ride, please contact Joanne St Amand

Editorial: N.J. must find a way to ensure comparable care for the disabled

Star Ledger

--August 17, 2014--

Medically fragile people must not be moved from their homes unless they get all the services they need elsewhere.

Opinion: State must reevaluate developmental center transfers

The Record

--August 06, 2014--

Opinion from State Senators Bob Gordon and Peter Barnes

Losing what once was called Home

Star Ledger

--August 04, 2014--

In February, Woodbridge’s 450 residents and 1,100 employees learned the 68-acre Woodbridge campus would be vacated by Dec. 31. About 30 miles north in Totowa, the North Jersey Developmental Center closed in June, displacing 337 residents and 956 workers.

Powerless, not silent, about being moved

The Record

--July 14, 2014--

Wendy English can make her own legal decisions, but she can’t control the thing she deems most important to her life: the decision to remain in her longtime home.

Developmental center closings cause family hardships

Home News Tribune

--June 29, 2014--

Moving residents from Woodbridge Developmental Center is affecting the lives of many local families. Includes video.

Bill delaying plans to move disabled from institutions OKed by NJ Assembly

Star Ledger

--June 24, 2014--

The Christie administration would have to stop relocating people with developmental disabilities who now live in state institutions and suspend transfers of others from out-of-state facilities back to New Jersey until their safety and well-being are evaluated, under a bill that passed the state Assembly Monday.

Bill to halt developmental center transfers gains steam

Home News Tribune

--June 24, 2014--

The state Assembly has approved a bill aimed at halting the movement of developmental disabled residents from state developmental centers until the state Department of Human Services conducts an investigation into the deaths of two former developmental center residents who were moved into group homes.

Choking tragedies add urgency to N.J. debate over group homes

The Record

--June 15, 2014--

Their anonymity in life and the lack of information to emerge after their deaths highlight the vulnerability of the hundreds of people with disabilities who have no family members to look after them and live as wards of the state.

Moratorium sought on relocating disabled residents

Home News Tribune

--June 14, 2014--

A bill approved Thursday by the Assembly Committee on Human Services would place a moratorium on transferring residents until there is an investigation into the deaths of two former residents of the Totowa facility who were moved to a group home.

TV Video: Advocates for Disabled Say Closing Disability Centers May Result in Deaths

NJTV

--June 11, 2014--

After two people died after being moved from a state-run disability center, advocates for the disabled say that closing the disability centers could result in more deaths.

Editorial: Save the Centers

The Record

--June 05, 2014--

The result is something less than ideal when the real-life equation does not contain numbers and statistics, but vulnerable human beings

Two deaths in privately run group homes stir concern in N.J.

The Record

--June 04, 2014--

Two men with severe mental and physical disabilities died from choking on food months after they were transferred from the North Jersey Developmental Center in Totowa to privately run homes as part of a massive restructuring of care for the disabled.

Editorial: Protecting the meek

The Record

--April 20, 2014--

Printed on Easter Sunday: SCRIPTURE STATES that the meek shall inherit the Earth. For some families in North Jersey, the meek are not so lucky.

North Jersey’s disabled and their families are forced to move on

The Record

--April 14, 2014--

With the state-run residential centers for the disabled slated to close in northern New Jersey, hundreds of families are searching for new homes for their loved ones.

Old Bridge parents fight daughter’s move from Woodbridge Developmental Center in court

mycentraljersey.com

--April 03, 2014--

Frances and Thomas Kauffman can’t understand why there seems to be a rush to relocate their daughter, Theresa, from the Woodbridge Developmental Center, where she has lived for 32 years, when the facility isn’t scheduled to close until the end of this year.

NJ Assembly approves bill mandating resident surveys after state institutions close

Star Ledger

--March 21, 2014--

The state Assembly overwhelmingly passed a bill today that would require the state to assess the well-being and safety of disabled residents who are transferred from two state institutions the Christie administration plans to phase out by January 2015.

Mother fears daughter at Woodbridge Developmental Center will be moved to South Jersey

Home News Tribune

--March 20, 2014--

My daughter is one of the fragile citizens that is being ripped from her home of 36 years.

Families’ Statement Regarding Announced Closure Dates

Press Release

--February 27, 2014--

We are shocked by the Christie administration’s announcement this week that both North Jersey and Woodbridge Developmental Centers will be closed by the end of this year.

OpEd: Save NJ’s centers for the disabled

Star Ledger

--January 28, 2014--

We each have a sister living in one of New Jersey’s developmental centers for the disabled slated for closure.

Gov. Christie presented with 10,000 names on petition callling for state developmental centers to re

Home News Tribune

--January 08, 2014--

Deborah Smith of Paterson hopes and prays that Gov. Chris Christie will reverse the decision to close the Woodbridge Developmental Center and the North Jersey Developmental Center where her daughter has lived for the past 28 years.

Families deliver petitions asking Chris Christie reconsider closing two developmental centers

Star Ledger

--January 08, 2014--

The families who sued the Christie administration last year for its plans to close two institutions for people with developmental disabilities delivered petitions to the governor's office Tuesday, signed by more than 10,000 people urging the governor to change his mind.

Petition seeks to keep open two North Jersey developmental centers set to close

PolitickerNJ.com

--January 08, 2014--

Advocates delivered what they said were 10,000 signatures and a petition to the governor’s office Tuesday in an attempt to keep two northern New Jersey developmental centers open.

Families of disabled petition Trenton against closing Totowa, Woodbridge residential centers

The Record

--January 08, 2014--

Family members and friends of severely disabled residents at two New Jersey developmental centers targeted for closing converged on the governor’s office Tuesday to deliver petitions with 10,000 signatures from people who oppose the move.

NJ Lawmakers Respond to Death at Developmental Center

Star Ledger

--November 20, 2013--

Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle demands halt to resident movement and Senator Vitale will hold a hearing following the death at Woodbridge Developmental Center.

Death of woman from N.J. institution slated for closure sparks investigation, raises questions

Star Ledger

--November 17, 2013--

Resident injured by another resident. The decision in July 2012 to close Woodbridge has led to a flurry of resident transfers and staff reassignments — creating a chaotic environment in which safety and supervision has declined.

Families of Developmental Center Residents Build Support at Grassroots Level

NJ Spotlight

--October 30, 2013--

Families fighting to stop the closure of two state developmental centers are trying to build grassroots backing in municipalities as part of their effort to persuade Gov. Chris Christie and legislators.

Woodbridge Developmental Center resident is fighting to stay in her home

Home News Tribune

--October 09, 2013--

Wendy English has a voice, and she’s determined to use it to deliver a simple message. (with video)

Hackensack officials voice dissapproval over the closure of institutions for disabled

NorthJersey.com

--September 13, 2013--

City officials unanimously passed a resolution proclaiming their discord with the Task Force on the Closure of State Developmental Centers and its proposed plan to close two state-operated institutions for those with developmental disabilities in northern New Jersey.

Englewood council objects to closing developmental centers

NorthJersey.com

--September 12, 2013--

The city council announced its opposition to the closing of two New Jersey developmental centers after raising concerns closures will separate families or force developmental center residents to move to group homes that may not accommodate their needs.

Fighting to keep developmental centers open

NorthJersey.com

--August 01, 2013--

An Englewood resident fighting to keep two New Jersey development centers from closing came to the July 23 city council meeting urging public officials to adopt a resolution supporting his cause.

Battle on to keep state from shutting center for disabled

Observer-Tribune

--June 28, 2013--

Peter Banos is struggling against the state government to make sure his disabled sister, Joyce, and hundreds of other disabled New Jerseyans do not get displaced from the center many of them have called home for decades.

Families of Woodbridge and North Jersey developmental centers file suit against the state

Home News Tribune

--June 06, 2013--

Migdalia Maldonado of Kearny choked back tears as she stood on the steps of the federal courthouse and talked about her daughter Glenda, 36, a resident of the Woodbridge Developmental Center for the past 28 years.

Families of disabled sue N.J. to block developmental center closings

Star Ledger

--June 06, 2013--

Accusing the Christie administration of interfering with medical decisions and violating civil rights, a group of families filed a class action lawsuit against the state today to stop the closure of institutions in Woodbridge and Totowa that have provided a home for 700 people with developmental disabilities for decades.

Families of Disabled Residents Sue to Keep Developmental Centers Open

NJ Spotlight

--June 06, 2013--

Families of intellectually disabled residents are trying to stop the state from closing developmental centers in Woodbridge and Totowa, filing a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Newark yesterday.

Families of disabled clients file suit to halt closure of residential centers in Totowa, Woodbridge

The Record

--June 06, 2013--

Claiming the state is meddling in medical decisions and putting their loved ones at risk, the families and guardians of 34 disabled residents filed a class-action lawsuit on Wednesday alleging that the state is violating their rights by moving to shut down facilities in Totowa and Woodbridge.

Families of Woodbridge Developmental Center residents ask Christie to come visit

Home News Tribune

--May 24, 2013--

Gov. Chris Christie is the one person Joanne St. Amand, president of the Woodbridge Developmental Center Parents Association, would most like to visit the facility to see firsthand how well her sister, Rosemary, who can’t walk or speak, is being cared for.

Bill preserving state institutions for disabled passes Assembly

Star Ledger

--April 30, 2013--

State institutions for people with developmental disabilities would be preserved in four regions of the state under a bill the state Assembly approved today.

Assembly approves bill reversing developmental center closures

NorthJersey.com

--April 30, 2013--

The Assembly approved a bill today that would keep open North Jersey’s two developmental centers for disabled people, but the legislation’s future remains uncertain.

Senator Paul Sarlo questions closure

The Record

--April 15, 2013--

The intention of the Christie administration to shut down the two state-run developmental centers in North Jersey is not the best way to care for those with developmental disabilities or their families.

Wayne council supports keeping developmental centers open

NorthJersey.com

--April 05, 2013--

Township officials have now joined reigns of those lobbying to keep the North Jersey and Woodbridge Developmental Centers open by adopting a resolution at Wednesday night's council meeting opposing their closures. Emotionally charged relatives recently pleaded, some even begging, with Mayor Chris Vergano and the township council asking them to support their efforts to have the Christie administration reverse its decision to close the only two institutions located in the northeast part of the state within the next five years.

Huttle: New Jersey’s developmental centers should stay open

Opinion - The Record

--February 24, 2013--

Assemblywoman says "I have introduced a bill that would require the state to retain at least one developmental center in each region of the state. "

Legislation Planned

Home News Tribune

--February 15, 2013--

Legislation planned to possibly halt closing of Woodbridge Developmental Center

Hundreds Protest Closures of Developmental Centers for Disabled

NJTV

--February 14, 2013--

TV coverage includes video

N.J. families plead for alternatives to closing

Star Ledger

--February 14, 2013--

After five hours of tearful and angry testimony... lawmakers are determined to find a compromise

Legislators Weigh Pros and Cons

NJ Spotlight

--February 14, 2013--

Legislators Weigh Pros and Cons of Shutting Down State Developmental Centers

Familes Plead with State Officials

The Record

--February 14, 2013--

Emotions overflowed Wednesday as dozens of relatives of the developmentally disabled tearfully called on the Christie administration to reconsider a decision to close the only two state institutions in northeast New Jersey devoted to the care of their loves ones.

Anxieties, Arguments

NJ Spotlight

--February 13, 2013--

Anxieties, Arguments About Where Profoundly Disabled Will Live (includes video)

Doing the Right Thing

NJ Spotlight

--February 12, 2013--

Doing the Right Thing for New Jersey's Most Vulnerable Population

Families of Disabled Distressed over Closings

The Record

--January 27, 2013--

The state plans to close North Jersey Developmental Center and a second center in Woodbridge within five years, and officials are telling family members that displaced residents will likely be moved to South Jersey if they choose to remain in a state center.

Relatives seek reversal of plan to close Woodbridge Developmental Center

Home News Tribune

--December 08, 2012--

For Marilyn Carr, the Woodbridge Developmental Center is her 53-year-old son Eugene’s home, the place where he has lived for the past 37 years. And the people who work at the Rahway Avenue facility are his family.

Coalition Formed to Stop Closures

Press Release

--October 11, 2012--

A coalition of families, friends and caregivers of the residents of New Jersey’s Developmental Centers has formed called Save Residents’ Homes at Developmental Centers to stop the planned closures of New Jersey’s Developmental Centers.

Weinberg wants study of how the disabled fare in the community

The Record

--October 09, 2012--

Senator Loretta Weinberg has introduced legislation to require a study of how several hundred former residents of the North Princeton Developmental Center fared after it was closed in 1998.

Former N.J. Disability Official Cites Dangers of Transferring DD Center Residents to Community

Salvatore Pizzuro, NewJerseyNewsRoom.com

--September 04, 2012--

A former State official who directed services for people with developmental disabilities in New Jersey has declared that New Jersey’s plan to close two developmental centers and place the residents in the community is flawed and presents unacceptable risks. Bernie White, who served as the Deputy Director of the New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities for 32 years, revealed that a high rate of mortality arose nationally when residents were transferred from the large developmental centers to the community

Totowa, Woodbridge Centers for Developmentally Disabled Closing

Associated Press

--August 01, 2012--

The fate of two institutions for developmentally disabled people was sealed Wednesday at a state task force meeting.

Planned Closings of Disability Centers Mean Losses for North Jersey

The Record

--July 28, 2012--

North Jersey will bear the brunt of the decision by a state panel to close two of the state’s seven developmental centers in the next five years

The Politics of North and South: How Van Drew Saved Vineland

NJ Spotlight

--July 26, 2012--

Politics trumps policy in decision to close Woodbridge and Totowa developmental centers

Vineland Developmental Center to Stay Open

The News of Cumberland County

--July 23, 2012--

A State Task Force has decided to spare the Vineland Developmental Center, originally slated for closure in the 2012 state budget

New Group Home Safeguards Needed

Diability Scoop

--August 10, 2011--

Weeks after a newspaper investigation uncovered widespread abuse at New York group homes for those with developmental disabilities, state officials are making changes, but advocates say they don’t go far enough.

Reaping Millions in Nonprofit Care for Disabled

New York Times

--August 04, 2011--

Medicaid money created quite a nice life for the Levy brothers from Flatbush, Brooklyn. The brothers, Philip and Joel, earned close to $1 million a year each as the two top executives running a Medicaid-financed nonprofit organization serving the developmentally disabled. They each had luxury cars paid for with public money. And when their children went to college, they could pass on the tuition bills to their nonprofit group.

Developmentally Disabled Man dies in van operated by Group Home

New York Times

--August 04, 2011--

The dark Ford Econoline van sat on a busy avenue in East Harlem through a warm morning and well into a hot afternoon on Tuesday, with Alonzo Eason, a developmentally disabled man, slumping in the rear seat, according to police and state officials.

Progress Claimed in Reporting Abuse at Group Homes

The New York Times

--June 14, 2011--

Roughly 40 percent of the allegations of physical abuse of the developmentally disabled at group homes and institutions in New York in recent months were not reported to law enforcement authorities, a senior state official said on Monday.

Meet Rosemary

Save Residents’ Homes at Developmental Centers


We are a coalition of families, friends and caregivers of the residents of New Jersey’s Developmental Centers.  We know that NJ’s Developmental Centers provide the best care for our loved ones. Family members should have the right to choose where their loved ones live to best meet their individual needs and care, not Trenton bureaucrats.

Our mission is to keep all of New Jersey’s Developmental Centers open as a life-saving choice for our most severely intellectually disabled individuals and their families.

———————————————

We strongly disagree with New Jersey’s decision to close two of its seven developmental centers.

We have issued a response to the decision and call on the Department of Human Services to stop moving residents now while the Task Force findings are reviewed.

 

Meet Wendy

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Please join us in giving our most vulnerable citizens the choice to live where they can be best cared for.

Fast Facts


More than 90% of the residents and their families prefer to continue to live at their Developmental Center

NJ would need almost 2,000 more group homes in communities across the State just to accommodate those residents DHS wants to move out of Developmental Centers and those on the current waiting list

The average age of a resident in NJ's Developmental Centers is 52