WNY families fighting for more residential homes for people with developmental disabilities

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — David Rosenhoch lives in a special bachelor pad with 6 of his friends in Eggertsville. All 7 of them have down syndrome.

“It was not easy it was a 5 year process we started with his friends and their families and started to talk about what could we do,” said Valerie Rosenhoch, David’s mother.

David’s parents say the families interviewed a number of agencies, and they were able to approach the state for funding through Aspire of WNY. David’s parents say for years, they were worried about their son’s future and that’s why they worked with other parents facing similar circumstances to find a solution.

“We face that as we’re aging as we all age we want our children to be in a proper situation,” said Rosenhoch.

Rosenhoch says her son David is an exception. Right now more than 11,000 people with developmental disabilities statewide have been awaiting placement in a residential setting for years. More than 2,000 people are facing the same predicament here in Western New York.

A lawsuit filed on their behalf claims Governor Cuomo and the state violated their obligations under the Americans with Disabilites Act and the Rehabilitation Act by not providing sufficient services.

“Right now the state is only taking care of the crisis, when a parent dies or a parent goes in the hospital there’s no pre-planning,” said Bruce Goldstein, Kenny Shelton Liptak Nowak LLP special counsel

Bruce Goldstein is the attorney who handled the filing. He says the state hasn’t approved any new residential opportunities for the growing number of people with disabilities who are in need.

The lawsuit was just filed yesterday and now it’s in the hands of the court. A court appearance is expected within the next several months.

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