Testimony presenting bill for ‘Local Solutions’ home for young adults with disabilities

19 February 2015

Senator Brakey, Representative Gattine, distinguished members of the Health and Human Services Committee, my name is Brian Hubbell, I represent House District 135, Bar Harbor, Mount Desert, and Lamoine, and I am here this afternoon to present LD 205: An Act To Facilitate the Development and Operation of a Group Home for Post-High School Adults with Developmental Disabilities

I submitted this bill in support of a community organization on Mount Desert Island called ‘Local Solutions.’  For the past three years, this group has worked assiduously to realize a vision for a congregate living facility for six young adults with disabilities who are qualified to receive MaineCare services under Section 18, Section 20, and Section 21 waivers.

In this time, Local Solutions has raised $200,000 in private donations, secured an old Parish Hall from a local Episcopal Church, and negotiated a partnership with Community Housing of Maine to renovate and manage the property which will be converted into six apartments with a common administrative space.

Centrally located in town in Bar Harbor, this facility will give its young residents access to work, community, and efficient care and services.

Attached to this testimony is an outline of what the group considers its assets and successes to date.

As recently as our cloture date, Local Solutions remained unsure if their project and business plan might require some special statutory provision to facilitate. So I put this bill in as a concept draft.

However, after several months of tremendously helpful meetings with Gary Wolcott, the Department’s Director of Aging and Disability Services, whose advice, experience, guidance, and boundless patience have all been invaluable, I’m happy to report that at this time Local Solutions sees no statutory impediment in developing its operating plan.

I’ll add that, at this point, the one essential thing that this legislature can do in support of Local Solutions is to fund the Section 21 waiting list.

So, with thanks for your indulgence it allowing me to present some information about this project, I’ll turn the bill over to you to dispose of as you see fit.

Thank you.  I’m happy to answer any questions.

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