Thursday, May 13, 2010

Visiting The Northern Virginia Training Center

Last month, I visited the Northern Virginia Training Center to learn about the Commonwealth's role in caring for our community's disabled.

The Training Center was started in the early 1970's on a campus of about 85 acres of land about five miles off the Capital Beltway on Braddock Road. The Center cares for about 190 individuals with severe physical and mental disabilities who are not capable of caring for themselves. It is one of five such facilities in the state.

The facility is largely funded through state funds and Medicaid and staffed by a very dedicated team of highly trained staff and volunteers. Our recent round of budget cuts significantly affects these kinds of services.

I spent about two hours walking through the various programs and services that are offered. Aside from the services necessary to care for people and enhance their quality of life, the Center even does bulk mailing, recycling processing, and I even saw a group of residents assembling hard drives. I also had a chance to talk with many community members who were very happy, engaged, and very welcoming to me into their home.

These services are frequently one of the first places we look for budget cuts and they also do not have armies of well-paid lobbyists advocating for their cause. Walking through a facility like this gives you some perspective regarding the importance of state government, our social safety net, and help you to remember why it is important to look out for everyone in the state and not just those who are best at getting your attention.

1 comment:

  1. Delegate Surovell,

    Thank you for taking the time to both visit NVTC and write about the experience. My sister Cathy has been a resident of NVTC since 1983. She lived at home with my parents (in the Hollin Hall subdivision) for the first 22 years of her life. The staff at NVTC are true professionals who do a remarkable job. They have created a caring home for my sister and her fellow residents.

    Virginia is not a poor state. It should serve as a model for the rest of the nation on how to care for it's profoundly disabled citizens. Unfortunately, today, Virginia is a long way from being that model. The political parties will always have many disagreements - caring for its disabled citizens should not be one of them. I believe my delegate Barbara Comstock feels the same way.


    Jack Bruggeman

    P.S. I remember the Dixie Pig Restaurant well.