Virginia is in the process of closing its state centers for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Last year the commonwealth reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice on the Americans with Disabilities Act. It helped spur a movement that began decades ago to people out of institutions and into private homes, where they could receive the most compassionate, least restrictive care.
State institutions known as training centers once housed 6000 people throughout Virginia. Now they serve fewer than 900. By 2020, there will be just 75 beds left in one remaining center. Everyone else will be living in private or group homes.
According to the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, it costs $225,000 a year per person, to live at one of the training centers. The average cost of caring for people in private homes is around $106,000.