Benny is a developmentally disabled adult. He is non-verbal, mentally retarded, and has cerebral palsy.
When he arrived at his group home 30 years ago, he couldn’t walk, feed himself, communicate his needs, had frequent seizures and took a myriad of strong anti-seizure medications to control them. Over the course of the 30 years in the group home, Benny has learned to feed himself, walk independently, learned to communicate his needs through gestures and facial expressions, and remains free of all meds and aggressive behaviors.
Bet Tzedek was first asked to assist Benny back in 2007 when he was removed from the group home, the only real home he had known for 25 years at the time. Benny was picked up at his day program and moved to another facility at the request of the Regional Center. Neither his mother nor his caregivers were told where he was for a week. Benny’s mother turned to Bet Tzedek for help. We provided the necessary legal guidance and representation for her to receive a Conservatorship over Benny and get him back to safe, comfortable, known surroundings.
Unfortunately, now five years later, the group home had a problem with its license and Benny’s mother was told she had to move him from his ‘family’ environment. The only way Benny could remain in his home was to add the group home caregivers as co-conservators along with his mother. Once again, Benny’s mother turned to Bet Tzedek where she knew she could get expert and readily available legal advice, which she was otherwise unable to afford.
Bet Tzedek Caregiver Team attorneys sprang into action. They filed a petition to add the caregivers as co-conservators, but were opposed by the Regional Center. The judge set the case for trial, giving only seven days to prepare. Fortunately, upon hearing all the facts as presented by the outstanding and dedicated BT attorneys, the judge decided that remaining in the group home was in Benny’s best interest and that it was, indeed, a safe and secure place for him.
Benny was the ultimate winner. He can continue to thrive in a safe, comfortable environment surrounded by people who love him and care for him as if he were their own. Bet Tzedek was proud to be able to help.
Join us in helping others like Benny. Visit our GIVE page now.