Greene Valley Developmental Center officially closes; Last residents transition to new homes

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GREENE COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – The Greene Valley Developmental Center in Greeneville has officially closed its doors after more than 50 years of operation. The final two people living at Greene Valley have moved into their new homes today.

News Channel 11 previous reported on last Friday was the last day of work for about 200 employees at Greene Valley. Greene Valley was one of the county’s largest employers.

Now, Tennessee is the 14th state to have no large state-run institutions for people with intellectual disabilities. The state says this is a huge milestone in “improving the lives of people with disabilities in Tennessee.”

“People who lived at Greene Valley are now living rewarding lives in their communities,” Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) Commissioner Debra K. Payne said.  “We are closing an important chapter in the history of supporting people with disabilities in Tennessee.  It’s important to celebrate the huge advancements we’ve made, while remembering the important role Greene Valley played for 56 years.”

Over the past two years, the state has efforted to transition more than 84 people into community placements.

Private providers in constructed 15 four-person homes for people living at Greene Valley. This was available to residents whose  “ofamilies wished for them to transition to an intermediate care facility for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,”  said the state’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Opened in 1960, Greene Valley was the first and only state institution for people with intellectual disabilities in East Tennesse. At its height, 1100 people lived at Greene Valley.

The state is closing the developmental center as a part of a lawsuit settlement.

Greene Valley, Clover Bottom and Nat t. Winston Developmental Centers were the subject of an investigation by the United States Department of Justice.

Back in January 2015 — an exit plan was agreed upon. That plan included arrangements to close Greene Valley.

Back in April, News Channel 11 learned that state human resources representatives met with impacted employees to discuss a benefits package. Eligible employees would receive a lump sum of $3200 and two years of tuition benefits at any state university, community college or technological college.

In addition, our Community Watchdog investigation into the handling of abuse cases at Greene Valley Developmental Center led to an arrest. Our Community Watchdog uncovered more abuse cases that went unreported to law enforcement at Clover Bottom Developmental Center, a state-run facility in Nashville.

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