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Group Homes

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NEWS
September 2, 1992 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Upper Southampton Township's law regulating group homes for the mentally retarded is unconstitutional and violates federal fair-housing laws, a federal judge has ruled. Township officials had argued that the ordinance, which requires a minimum of 1,000 feet between group homes, was designed to prevent the clustering of group homes in one area of the Bucks County municipality and to help integrate the retarded into the community. But in an opinion filed yesterday, U.S. District Judge Lowell A. Reed Jr. said public statements by township officials proved that the ordinance - the fourth adopted since 1988, when Horizon House Developmental Services Inc. leased two private homes as group homes - was really an attempt to placate angry neighbors.
NEWS
June 21, 1990 | By Wanda Motley, Inquirer Staff Writer
Lower Merion officials, faced with continued opposition to proposed revisions in a year-old ordinance governing group homes, are again going back to the drawing board. W. Bruce McConnel 3d, a member of the township Board of Commissioners and chairman of the committee that originated the ordinance, said Monday night that it was unlikely the proposal would go before the board for a vote until next month. His comment was made after a joint meeting of the board and the township Planning Commission.
NEWS
November 11, 1990 | By Erin Kennedy, Special to The Inquirer
Abington Township commissioners' promise to lobby for a change in laws that allow profit-making group homes in residential zones was not enough. Vincent Morasco, a spokesman for residents protesting a group home on Shoemaker Avenue, wants the township board to challenge those federal statutes in court and write a new zoning ordinance prohibiting group homes anywhere in the township. On Thursday night, the Board of Commissioners agreed to write state and federal legislators and ask them to challenge the federal law. The board also agreed to look at Morasco's recommendations.
NEWS
November 5, 1989 | By Mary Anne Janco, Special to The Inquirer
Proposed zoning regulations for community living arrangements in Nether Providence Township have the backing of the township Planning Commission. The commission voted 4-0 Thursday night with one abstention to recommend approval of an ordinance that would limit the number of unrelated people who could live together and limit how close together group homes could be. The ordinance was proposed after three residents of Tara Place complained to the township commissioners about the possible expansion of a United Cerebral Palsy community living arrangement on their block.
NEWS
June 11, 1989 | By Rebecca Rubin, Special to The Inquirer
To avoid potential lawsuits, the Schuylkill supervisors are considering making changes in the township zoning ordinance to provide for group homes for the mentally retarded, officials said Wednesday. The discussion at a board meeting was an off-shoot of a yearlong controversy about the Devereux Foundation's proposal for a group home for five retarded adults on Country Club Road. The zoning officer rejected the proposal because the zoning code bars more than three unrelated people from living in a house together.
NEWS
August 11, 1991 | By Michelle R. Davis, Special to The Inquirer
Group homes for the handicapped will be allowed in residential neighborhoods, the Schuylkill Township Board of Supervisors has decided. The supervisors voted, 5-0, Wednesday to treat group home residents as a family. The U.S. Attorney's Office filed suit last year after the township tried to require the Devereux Foundation to get special zoning approval before opening a group home for five mentally retarded men. In November, U.S. District Judge Joseph L. McGlynn ruled that the township could not make that requirement.
NEWS
April 30, 1989 | By Stacey Burling, Inquirer Staff Writer
Last June, Russ Kulp had almost everything his agency needed to open five group homes for the mentally retarded in southern Chester County. Impact Systems Inc. had the money - $500,000 from the state. It had the houses. It had zoning approval. But today, two of the homes are empty. Six retarded people who were to live there are still in institutions. And the state will keep much of its money. The project is stalled because of the one thing Kulp doesn't have: employees.
NEWS
August 28, 2001
State Sen. Richard Codey (D., Essex) asserts that group homes are disproportionately placed in towns with lower-income residents because upscale communities are resistant to these homes (Aug. 15, "N.J. group homes concentrated in poor areas, census indicates"). While it is true that there are few group homes in more expensive towns, the reason is primarily economic and not discriminatory. To meet the needs of as many individuals as possible with limited funds, the state has placed tight financial restrictions on capital spending per person to purchase homes.
NEWS
May 4, 1989 | By Christine Hausman, Special to The Inquirer
The Upper Southampton Township Board of Supervisors has voted to drop some of the zoning requirements it imposed in a neighborhood that has two group homes for physically and mentally handicapped adults. The group homes, in the 900 block of West Maple Avenue and the 900 block of Hillside Drive, are in violation of the zoning ordinance. Horizon House, which has operated the group homes there since last September, filed suit in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia on March 29. Although it has a conditional use permit for the property, it contended that the zoning was exclusionary and illegal.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
February 3, 2015 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
IF ONE WORD could describe the character of Doris Harris it's "selfless. " That was the first word that came to the mind of her daughter Takada when asked to describe her mother. "Selfless. " Doris seemed to spend much of her time in service to others. She had seven children of her own, but she believed that all the children in her North Philadelphia neighborhood were hers. She was determined to see to it that all the children in what was perceived as an "underserved" neighborhood had clothing.
NEWS
June 19, 2014 | By Karen Heller, Inquirer Columnist
Marvae Dunn had no business being in prison. He is severely mentally ill. At age 64, he can barely speak or follow simple instructions. How could he stand trial on first-degree murder charges of shooting his sister-in-law? He never did, yet Dunn's home for seven years was a Philadelphia prison infirmary, until advocates intervened. He was transferred Monday to a state nursing home in Franklin County. "We're subsidizing failure," said his prison chaplain, Phyllis Taylor. The legal system failed Dunn and the taxpayers who bore the cost of his imprisonment.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 5, 2014 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
This is a column for those who believe Philadelphia's historic, but decrepit, white elephants aren't worth keeping around. It concerns two large boardinghouses on the Mount Airy-Germantown border built more than a century ago, in an era when seniors lived out their days taking in the air on Victorian porches and staging music recitals in the parlor. A decade ago, this architectural odd couple on West Johnson Street resembled the ruins of the European countryside after World War II. At the Nugent Home for Baptist Ministers, modeled on a French ch√Ęteau, the gracious front porch had collapsed in a heap.
BUSINESS
November 19, 2013 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Bancroft, the Haddonfield nonprofit that provides group homes and outpatient services for 1,500 people with autism, brain injuries, and developmental disabilities, had come perilously close to closing when Toni Pergolin, 50, chief executive officer, was hired in 2004. These days, Bancroft is on more solid financial footing and is outgrowing its Haddonfield campus. Whether Bancroft will move and what will happen to its campus is unresolved, and controversial. Question: So, is it still an open question - whether Bancroft stays or goes?
NEWS
March 26, 2013 | By Jeff Gammage, Inquirer Staff Writer
People don't adopt children like Ethan. A long-term foster-care child who has been in seven homes, who at 17 is almost an adult, about to age out of the system. When some people looked at Ethan, they saw heartbreak. When Karen and John Pascucci looked, they saw their son. It was the thoughtful questions he asked, the way his 6-foot-3 frame sheltered a gentle personality, his maturity and resilience, his desire for a permanent family. "He said he wanted to put down roots with us," Karen said.
NEWS
March 8, 2013 | By Andrew Seidman, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Three armed men broke into an East Greenwich Township residence for developmentally disabled people at 3 a.m. Thursday and stole two safes, East Greenwich Police said. The men, each carrying a handgun, tied up caretakers with duct tape. No one was injured, police said. As many as 10 disabled adults live in the facility, located on Whiskey Mill Road in Clarksboro, Lt. Charles Barone said. It was not immediately clear what the residents were doing at the time of the robbery, he said, but they were not touched by the robbers.
NEWS
February 1, 2013 | By Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Columnist
With the number of private group homes rising across New Jersey, more adults with developmental or intellectual disabilities can live in their communities with relative independence. Many do well in the supervised settings, which typically house four adults. But the emotional displays, unusual behavior, and communication difficulty sometimes associated with autism and other conditions can lead to confrontations between residents and the public - and with police. Officers are learning how to handle "these individuals when they come into the criminal justice system," Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton says.
NEWS
January 28, 2013 | By Rita Giordano, Inquirer Staff Writer
When the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced it planned to close Don Guanella Village, a residential campus for the intellectually disabled it has operated for more than 50 years, it said it was acting in the best interests of the residents by moving them into community-based care. But to families of the men who live on the Marple campus - some have been there most of their lives - the plans were anything but welcome. They say they feel as let down and worried about their relatives' futures as they are grateful for the care given over the years.
NEWS
January 25, 2013 | By Dan Hardy, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Bancroft School has sought since 2005 to sell its Haddonfield campus, with plans to buy land elsewhere and build a facility more suited to its needs. Now, eight years and several failed sale attempts later, with borough voters Tuesday rejecting a $12.5 million referendum to purchase the property, Bancroft officials say they will instead move quickly to renovate the campus. "We need to begin modernizing our facility," Toni Pergolin, Bancroft's president and chief executive officer, said after the vote.
NEWS
January 12, 2013 | By Rita Giordano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Don Guanella Village, a longtime residence in Marple Township for developmentally disabled men, may close in 2015, and its clients may be moved to new community-based housing, an official with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia said. The proposed changes were prompted by the concerns of state and archdiocesan program staff going back over a year that the facility was not in line with "best practices" of caring for the intellectually disabled in a less-institutional setting, according to James Amato, deputy secretary for the archdiocesan office of Catholic Social Services.
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