COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Southern California’s Only Group Home
for Deaf Foster Youth Opens
Supervisor Greg Cox, Local Officials Cut Ribbon Opening Home in Chula Vista.
CHULA VISTA – County Supervisor Greg Cox and various local officials opened Southern California’s only group home for Deaf foster youth in Chula Vista.
The home will house up to six foster youth between the ages of 12 and 18 who are deaf or hard of hearing. Currently, there are no group homes for Deaf foster youth in the county and most Deaf foster youth in the county are sent to other facilities far away, including Florida and Wyoming, to receive specialized care. By opening this home, these youth will be able to stay in the county, closer to families and friends.
“This group home will be a comforting and reassuring place for foster children with special needs,” said Cox. “These kids deserve an opportunity to learn and succeed in an environment that meets their individual needs and I am proud to support this project.”
The four-bedroom home has been renovated to meet the needs of the youth. Hardwood floors will resonate with vibrations that can be heard when someone enters a room. A TTY phone, text messaging devices and a video phone will allow residents to communicate with family and friends. The home is also equipped with a strobe light system to indicate when individuals are ringing the doorbell, and entering or leaving the home, and when the smoke alarm is activated.
In addition, all of the staff working in the home will be fluent in American Sign Language and most of the staff will be deaf or hard of hearing. Youth from the home will attend local schools within the Sweetwater Union High School District.
The home was developed by a coalition called the Southern California Deaf Group Home Collaborative, which was established in December 2004. The collaborative includes the County Health and Human Services Agency, San Diego Deaf Mental Health Services, Deaf Community Services, San Diego Youth & Community Services, Alliance Healthcare Foundation, McAllister Institute Signs of Life and the Sweetwater Union High School District.
San Diego Youth & Community Services, a local non-profit, will operate the home. The project was made possible by major grants from the County Supervisors Greg Cox and Ron Roberts and the Alliance Healthcare Foundation.
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