On closing Clover Bottom Developmental Center

The Tennessean has a review of state plans to finally close Clover Bottom Development Center, including some sad situations impacting individuals. An excerpt:

Four years after pledging to shut it down, state officials with the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities have yet to shutter Clover Bottom, the 90-year-old institution created in an earlier era when people with autism and other disabilities were sent to large state institutions at young ages to live out their days.

Forty longtime residents still live on the aging Donelson campus that once housed more than 1,500. Some have lived at the facility for decades, waiting for the state to deliver on its long-delayed promise to move them into homes in residential neighborhoods. Thousands of people with disabilities across the country have left state facilities as part of a national deinstitutionalization movement intended to improve quality of life andreduce costs.

Most residents were found as far back as 1997 to belong someplace else — residential homes or small-scale intermediate-care facilities that could care for their complex medical needs while integrating them into the community. In 2009, then-Gov. Phil Bredesen said they would move by 2010. Officials now say the last resident won’t leave until May 2015.