To help protect the vulnerable residents who call the Yakima Valley School their home, Sen. Jim Honeyford has proposed a bill that would allow the residential care facility to begin admitting new patients again. Senate Bill 5962, considered by the Senate Health Care Committee today, would permit the facility to reopen its doors to the community.
“After the facility began barring new patients, it continued providing temporary respite and crisis beds,” said Honeyford, who represents the 15th Legislative District, “but since that time we’ve seen a drastic need for it to return to its original purpose of providing a stable, long-term home for individuals with significant developmental or medical disabilities.”
During the state’s economic crisis in 2011, the governor signed a bill to close the Frances Haddon Morgan developmental disability facility in Bremerton and gradually reduce the number of residents at YVS. Honeyford worked with other Yakima-area lawmakers to help keep the facility’s residents and staff in place for as long as possible. The 2011 legislation closed the school to any further admissions but allowed current residents to continue residing at the facility for the rest of their natural lives. Then, when the population dropped below 16, the state would find alternate housing for the remaining occupants and close the school permanently. Continue reading