People First of Oregon       

Fairview: The Closing Chapter


Focus: A Fairview Update

We made a lot of progress in 1998 in transforming the way we serve Oregonians with developmental disabilities.

Our strategy centers on closing the Fairview Training Center in Salem, and moving the residents into group homes, where they’ll have greater opportunities to participate in community life.

Resources previously devoted to Fairview are being reinvested, so we can increase supports for families caring for loved ones with developmental disabilities at home. Our plan also includes much-needed pay increases for care providers.

All this presents challenges unlike any we’ve ever faced. We need to develop suitable new group homes, maintain high-quality care at Fairview, and help Fairview’s employees find new jobs -- all at the same time.

I’d like to thank the Fairview staff for excellent work on all fronts. Without the support of the staff, we would not have made the progress we did in the past year.

Since May, about 70 of Fairview’s residents have moved to community settings. Another 125 will make this transition by next June. And we’re on track to complete this process for the remaining residents -- about 85 -- by July 2000.

We’ve also provided job counseling and similar services to Fairview’s employees. We’ve assured these employees of priority in hiring throughout our Department, and several other state agencies have agreed to help with this transition.

Such steps, along with retirements and normal attrition, have allowed us to avoid layoffs thus far. Unfortunately, however, four employees will be laid off as of the end of this month.

Additional layoff notices have gone out, but it’s unclear exactly how many job losses may occur in the coming months. We’ll continue to do all we can to help those facing layoff to find new employment.

I appreciate the contributions of everyone involved in this challenging transformation -- one that has already begun to improve the lives of Oregonians with developmental disabilities.


Department of Human Resources Message from the Director excerpt: December 30, 1998
by Gary Weeks, director of the Oregon Department of Human Resources