LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. -- The city of Lawrenceburg faces a lawsuit alleging it is discriminating against people with disabilities by classifying a proposed new group home as a boarding house or medical facility.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed a lawsuit on behalf of New Horizons Rehabilitation, a southeast Indiana nonprofit that provides services -- including long-term residential care -- to people with developmental or intellectual disabilities. There's a particular need for housing among older adults, said Marie Dausch, New Horizons' executive director.
"Many times the need is more present when families who have taken care of their children all their years and now they’re in their 70s or 80s and they have their own needs for care," Dausch said.
ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk says the law is clear.
"Federal law and state law and the U.S. Constitution are clear that you cannot discriminate against these people, you cannot discriminate against these homes," Falk said.
New Horizons operates one other home in Lawrenceburg. A lawyer for the city says the city has not engaged in discrimination and the ACLU claims have no merit.