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He has two radios sitting on one dresser. Lee Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance" plays on one of them. Two pictures sit next to the radios. Floyd points out his uncle in one and his mother and sister in the other. "Tell my sister to write me a really long letter for Christmas and to send money," Floyd says.
He un-Velcros his new shoes, climbs out of his Tracer EX wheelchair and rolls onto the bed.
"I want to take a nap," he says.
The radio is turned off and Floyd says goodbye. He's tired and still adjusting to life at Brittany's.
Despite its pleasantries, Brittany's Place is still a home that mandates waking and sleeping hours, meal times and social hour.
"People are moving up in small increments, but this isn't what's thought of as community integration," McCrary says. "It's just a different form of isolation."
Yet Charles Martin, who runs a group of facilities similar to Brittany's Place, says personal homes are a step in the right direction. Some people leaving institutions couldn't function without a strict regiment, he says. And he points out that not every institutionalized person might want to live -- or be remotely able to live -- in regular contact with the outside world.
"We work with our patients to teach them skills that would help them live in the community if they'd like to," Martin says. "But some folks could never live in the community."
Martin runs Classic Community, a for-profit company that manages nine community-based homes around Atlanta. His facilities are small. There are three patients at most per home, with one attendant. Residents rise at the same time every day, usually around 6 a.m., eat breakfast, and leave the home to receive six hours of vocational training. They learn to sew, type and cook, among other skills. By 3 p.m., they're back at the home. They get a snack and have individual counseling sessions in the early evening. At night, they might go out for pizza or go bowling.
All of Martin's residents are on Medicaid, and Classic Community receives the majority of its revenue from the federal program.
"This is a great setting for many disabled people," Martin says. "I think the Olmstead decision can be interpreted on different levels."
But others, like disability advocate Allen, say personal care homes are still too isolated and regimented to fulfill the spirit of the Olmstead ruling.
"People might say they live in the community, but if they live in a place where they can't go out on their own or interact with people [without] disabilities, I'd say that's no step at all."
Another consideration with personal care homes is that, because they are mostly privately owned, they are not as closely monitored as state-owned facilities, according to Allen. After a person or corporation becomes licensed as a community provider, the state doesn't have the everyday access that it does with its own homes.
What's more, personal care home providers usually receive the entire Social Security or Medicaid checks of their patients and may also get a supplement from the state. The system can be abused if providers misuse or pocket funds at the expense of the patients. Although the practice hasn't been widely identified in Georgia, it became a serious problem in D.C., where the state failed to regularly monitor private homes, and dozens of residents died as a result of neglect.
But Georgia's Skinner says the state licensing and inspecting process for private community-based homes is stringent. And state officials and some disability advocates argue that without private homes picking up some of the slack, it would be impossible to fund the widespread de-institutionalization called for in the Olmstead ruling.
"Without the help of personal care homes, even more people would be stuck in institutions," Jamieson, of Atlanta Legal Aid, says. "They might not be the ideal solution, but it's much better than living in a brick box."
Greg Sutton has only lived in St. Paul's Apartments in Macon for a week, but residents there already know to call the aspiring rapper "Lil' G."
A "Welcome Home" banner hangs above the window in Lil' G's apartment, and a half-dozen baseball caps hang on a Harley-Davidson hat rack. Two plastic bowls hold at least 100 yellow-wrapped pieces of Dubble Bubble gum. Lil' G reaches for a piece every few minutes.
"I really like gum," he says, smiling sheepishly.
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