More Missourians with developmental disabilities will get to stay in their homes, not move into an institution with the expansion of a state program.

Partnership for Hope enrolled 285 disabled Missourians October first, providing the assistance needed to keep them in their homes.

Governor Nixon has announced an expansion.

“The idea behind our Partnership for Hope is straightforward,” Nixon says. “End the wait for services. Avoid or delay the need for institutional placement and keep families together.”

The program has grown to 470 individuals, providing up to $12,000 per year in services. The Department of Mental Health will use a million dollars already allocated, match it with another million from counties and four million from the federal government to reach 500 more Missourians.

Nixon says letting them stay home and keeping them out of an institution does much more than save money.

“Individuals with developmental disabilities are cherished members of their families and invaluable members of our communities. Helping them get the services they need to live up to their God-given potential is a responsibility and an opportunity we all share,” Nixon says. “That’s what the Partnership for Hope is all about.”

Partnership for Hope first served 37 counties. Now, it expands to 31 more counties. The expansion, though, only reduces the waiting list by 10%. There are 5,000 disabled Missourians on the waiting list.

AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [1:15 MP3]