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Family members urge Oklahoma DHS panel not to close center

Oklahoman Published: July 24, 2012
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The possibility of closing a facility in Pauls Valley that houses some of Oklahoma's most severely developmentally disabled residents is drawing impassioned pleas from some family members of the more than 120 people who live there.

Several family members spoke out Tuesday during a regular meeting of the Oklahoma Commission for Human Services.

The commission is considering whether to consolidate the Southern Oklahoma Resource Center in Pauls Valley and the Northern Oklahoma Resource Center in Enid.

A legislative analysis last year estimated that the two facilities are in need of an estimated $30 million in repairs.

DHS experts have recommended downsizing the facilities and transitioning most of the residents into community-based settings for care. But that plan has been bitterly rejected by the family members of some residents.