ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Albany Advocacy Resource Center held its 36th annual awards banquet Thursday to honor the agencies consumers for their accomplishments through various ARC programs that serve people with disabilities.
ARC strives to make sure they have the same opportunities as everyone else in the community.
“It gave them incentives to work hard doing the year to attain certain tasks and trying to work towards getting an award each year, so they get very excited. It also gives us a chance to thank community supporters and for them to see what they're money is invested in,” said Debbie Fulford.
Albany ARC employs more than 300 people and serves more than 12-hundred in Albany.
A Director in the state's Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities was the keynote speaker for the event.
We asked Dan Howell how the Department's plan to transition more people from state hospitals to community based programs is going.
He said some of the changes are on hold.
“Commissioner Berry has chosen, we chosen to halt transitions. We want to ensure the health and safety of individuals both in our state intuitions and as well as the community is stabilized. And until we are insured we have stabilization in community settings we not going to transition anyone else at this point,” said Dan Howell.
As part of the changes and a major overhaul to the state's mental health system, Southwestern State Hospital in Thomasville was shut down in January.