More than 1,000 "Still Waiting" for a place to live

Posted at: 05/18/2013 8:35 PM | Updated at: 05/18/2013 10:42 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion |

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More than 1,000 people in our area are waiting for a place to live, but what makes this wait so critical is that they're living with developmental disabilities.

A group called the Family Advocates United held the "Still Waiting" rally on Saturday to raise awareness.

State and local legislators joined forces with family members and friends. Their mission is to improve the quality of life for those suffering with mental, emotional and behavioral challenges.

On Saturday it was all about awareness. Dozens gathered to educate the community about the issues these men and women face.

The biggest issue is waiting for a place to live in the Finger Lakes and Western New York region.

The group placed several flags on the lawn of the Al Sigl Center's Wolk campus. Each flag represents a person suffering with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are currently without a home.

With rallies like this these advocates hope lawmakers in Albany will start paying attention.

“We need to create a better awareness of that in Albany. It's extremely important to me personally and something I'm going to continue to advocate for is re-invigorating a residential option for families who truly need it,” said Senator Ted O'Brien.

“It's such a pressing crying need and this is not the time for the governor and the state government to be pulling back. We need to double our efforts and make sure that placement is available for people in their own communities and neighborhoods,” said District Assemblyman Bill Nojay.

It's clear these government officials are taking this initiative very seriously.

This issue is especially difficult for parents, who are afraid they are just getting too old to properly take care of their child.

“The general population I don't think is really aware and we're trying to bring attention to that and also make our legislatures aware that we need to fight and we need to get the money allocated so this work can be done,” said parents Frank and Toni DiBella.

For more information on mental health awareness, click here.

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