Toni Lippert (Part 2)

Toni Lippert speaks of her work at the Metropolitan Council as the Regional Planner for Developmental Disabilities

(Run time 1:28)

Some of the programs that we brought in, some of the new concepts were the community group homes, and the small ones, because there were large ones that had 20, 30, 40 people. But we wanted to get that number down to a more manageable size.

We had a lot of problems with neighbors protesting the establishment of these homes, a lot of problems. And I was able, in my position, to staff all the public hearings that were required at that time for any expenditure in the health arena over a certain amount of money and the group homes came under that domain.

So I was able, supposedly in a neutral position, to give a lot of direction and ideas to the people who were coming in to establish these homes and to guide them. Some of them didn't know what they were really doing. They had worked in one or two and that was the experience.

I also had been very fortunate in being asked as a parent, one of two parents, to be on the rule committee that developed the rules governing the homes' programs, the community home programs, so I was always able to influence those regulations. And I knew them, therefore gave a lot of assistance to these people who were starting these homes.