WHITE HAVEN, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Breaking news into the Eyewitness Newsroom: The state announces the closing of two facilities that help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

One of the centers is in our area.

Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller says the White Haven Center will shutdown. They expect it will take about 3 years to close. The White Haven Center serves about 112 people and more than 400 people work there.

The closures reflect the Wolf Administration’s Plan to reduce reliance on institutional care.

A similar facility in Venango County will also close.

The I-Team’s Andy Mehalshick will have much more on this developing story on Eyewitness News at Five.

SENATOR JOHN YUDICHAK Released this Statement on the White Haven Center Closing:

Senator Yudichak Statement on the Closure of White Haven Center

Nanticoke, August 14, 2019:  State Senator John Yudichak (D – Luzerne/Carbon) has released the following statement regarding the closure of White Haven Center.

“The closure of White Haven Center, announced today by the Department of Human Services, is a terrible blow for patients, employees, and the people of Luzerne County who care deeply about how those with intellectual disabilities are treated.

Without warning or any advance notification, I was informed by the Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller this morning that over the next thirty-six months White Haven Center will close.  It is a decision that was made without consultation or an ounce of input from the Luzerne County legislative delegation.  It is a decision that should be investigated and examined thoroughly from every perspective, especially from the perspective of the families who have entrusted the care of their loved ones to White Haven Center.  

My mother, Sally Yudichak, worked for many years at White Haven Center. As a result, I got to know many of the employees and many of the families who loved White Haven Center. It is a special place, a loving home operated by a caring staff who consider themselves family. I hope over the coming months the Department of Human Services will reconsider this abrupt and poor decision to close White Haven Center.”