Some thoughts on the Fairview Center Fire

Hi Everyone,

I’m sure many of you have heard that Fairview burned to the ground on Wednesday in a 3 alarm fire.

http://www.kgw.com/home/2-alarm-blaze-at-abandoned-state-hospital-in-Salem-82845467.html

http://www.flickr.com/photos/9681449@N05/sets/72157600659175511/

We have customers who lived at Fairview and they certainly are experiencing many emotions today.

This is a good opportunity to remember that there are many states in this country that still run large, segregated institutions.  I have met many people this week who are heads of organizations that manage these and large ICF’s and group homes and describe this week as a “life changing” experience.  They are returning home with plans to close down their residential programs and replace them with supported living, I cannot stress what a huge, uphill, and very risky endeavor this is for them, living in states that have very powerful forces and funding who support this type of living arrangement.

I cannot express how incredibly symbolic, coincidental and powerful this event is.  Please take a moment to read a bit on the history of Fairview, and know that we in Oregon have come a ways, but still have a very long way to go until people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have the same civil rights as you and I.

Submission by: Anne Zaccardi, Program Director, Inclusion Inc.

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