In support of Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, The Arc Alliance has been advocating and working with legislators and administrations for decades to resolve the five remaining state funded centers. Today, The Arc Alliance is proud to commend Governor Tom Wolf, Department of Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas and all those in support for their courageous action in announcing the closure of the Hamburg State Center. Secretary Dallas expects the closure to take approximately 18-24 months.Paul 2

“For the 30 years I have been CEO of The Arc Alliance, my and The Arc Alliance’s goal has been to provide individuals with the freedom of choice and the support to live as independent a life as possible. The announced closure of the Hamburg State Center is another step forward in our fight for the individual freedoms we all deserve”.

Since The Arc Alliance’s inception in 1951 we have been a leading proponent of the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The Arc Alliance commends Governor Wolf and Secretary Dallas for their action in support of the rights of the approximately 80 residents of the Hamburg State Center.

Below is an article from the Reading Eagle on this issue published on January 12, 2017. Link to Original Article

Hamburg State Center to close, state announces

Hamburg State CenterThursday January 12, 2017 12:01 AM

By Michelle N. Lynch


The Hamburg State Center for people with intellectual disabilities will be closing.

Dallas and WolfTed Dallas, secretary of the state Department of Human Services, announced plans to close the Hamburg center Wednesday.

The Hamburg center is expected to take approximately 18 to 24 months to close as residents transition to community living.

The Wolf administration says the closure is part of its commitment to serve more people in the community, reduce reliance on institutional care and improve access to home- and community-based services for Pennsylvanians.

“Individuals experience a better quality of life when they receive care and support in their homes and in their communities, when possible,” Dallas said in a statement.

Paul Stengle, CEO of the Arc Alliance, said the organization is “excited” about the news of the closure. The ARC Alliance is an advocacy organization that supports people with developmental disabilities.

“People with developmental disabilities should be able to live in the community like people without disabilities,” Stengle said.

Research has shown people with developmental disabilities function better when living in the community, he added.

“Multiple studies have shown that the developmentally disabled living in the community have fewer maladaptive behaviors and more adaptive behaviors than those living in institutions,” Stengle said.

Examples of adaptive behaviors include activities of daily living such as cooking, cleaning, social and communication skills.

“Community-based care costs less, too,” Stengle said.

At its peak, more than 900 people lived at the Hamburg Center, but as access to home- and community-based services increased, the resident population decreased. The center currently serves 80 residents at its 154-acre campus.

Prior to leaving the facility, individuals will participate in a series of assessments and planning meetings in order to determine their level of need for services and support in the community or with family, officials with the Department of Human Services said. The goal of the assessment and planning process is to ensure that the new homes are safe, appropriate, and supportive. The process will include individuals and their families.

“This closure will enable the residents to live in the community when possible,” Dallas said.

Contact Michelle N. Lynch: 610-371-5084 or