HELENA, MT – Governor Steve Bullock announced today significant progress in locating long term community placements for clients living in the Montana Developmental Center (MDC) in Boulder. A coordinated effort among state agencies and Aware Inc. has resulted in successfully locating community group home accommodations for 21 of the 52 clients living there. These clients will be moved from the Boulder facility to their new homes over the next 7 months to living facilities operated by AWARE, Inc. These are the first placements required as a result of SB411 which passed in the 2015 Legislature directing the closure of the Boulder facility.
“Montanans expect to receive the appropriate type of care, at the right time, while surrounded by friends and family,” said Governor Bullock. “The progress to find safe and loving homes for these Montanans is yet another example of my Administration’s commitment to community-based mental health and developmental disability services.”
These community placements will have greater services, including enhanced behavior support services, increased abuse and neglect reporting requirements, and additional intensive case management due to their acuity of need. There is also a hiring preference instituted with AWARE, Inc. for current MDC employees. The placement of these 21 clients marks the most community placements in the past 20 years. Total contract costs to cover the first 21 clients totals $5,235,000.
“With historic investments in the full spectrum of mental health services coupled with this agreement, Governor Bullock’s commitment to mental health and developmental disability community care is unprecedented,” said Larry Noonan, CEO of AWARE, Inc. “As Montana’s largest and longest serving community provider, AWARE is pleased that we can help improve the lives of Montanans everywhere with developmental disabilities.”