State to close unneeded group home permanently

The state’s Gloversville Group Home, a 10-bed facility targeted for closing numerous times in the pa

The state’s Gloversville Group Home, a 10-bed facility targeted for closing numerous times in the past, has been vacant for more than a year and will finally close for good.

The state Office of Children and Family Services announced the closing of the Gloversville home and five other residential facilities, part of a statewide restructuring the agency said will save about $16 million annually.

CFS spokesman Edward Borgas said Monday that changes in the agency’s approach to housing and caring for the children assigned by the courts makes the Gloversville facility unnecessary. Most of the children assigned to the facilities scheduled for closing are from New York City, Borgas said. Under new guidelines designed to reduce recidivism, he said, the agency is seeking to offer services close to clients’ homes.

When the Gloversville home operated at or near capacity it was staffed with seven people.

The building is owned by the adjacent St. Mary’s of Mount Carmel Church, which has a lease with CFS expiring June 30., Borgas said the state will not renew that lease.

Ken Goldfarb, spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, said the issue of the building’s future has yet to be discussed.

Lexington Center, the local Association for Retarded Citizens agency that has in the past converted available buildings into group homes, is not interested in this facility, Executive Director Paul Nigra said Monday. New construction on a single story is the new standard for any group home expansions plans, he said.

The closing of the Gloversville home is a necessity, Borgas said. “We can’t continue to pay for empty beds,” he said, citing the agency’s responsibility to the taxpayers.

During the 90s the Gloversville home had a mixed reputation in the community. During that era, selected clients assigned to Tryon School would serve their final year at the home, a mainstreaming process that involved enrolling them at Gloversville High School.

While a number of the agency clients excelled at Gloversville High School in football and other sports, others got in trouble—sometimes of a criminal nature.

Categories: Schenectady County

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