Polk Petition

Save Polk State Center Petition

Please take a minute to digitally “sign” the petition below opposing the decision by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) to close Polk State Center.

The Issue

DHS in August 2019 announced plans to close Polk State Center in Venango County. The decision would displace nearly 200 residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities who currently consider Polk State Center to be their home and receive a variety of professional, on-site services each day.

While this decision would directly and negatively impact the nearly 200 residents and their families, it also would harm other people in our community.

Workers – Polk State Center employs a variety of people who work to support the residents who live at the facility. If the center closes, those workers will lose their jobs. They may need to rely on some form of public assistance until they are able to find a new job.
Taxpayers – Many of the workers who would lose their jobs at Polk State Center may have to rely on some form of public assistance programs or benefits to help them bridge the gap until they find a new job. The added cost of that assistance will be borne by taxpayers.
Other Local Workers and Businesses – Polk State Center workers use the money they earn at their jobs to pay for a variety of products, goods and services provided by workers and businesses in the local community. When the Polk State Center workers lose their jobs, there will be a ripple effect in the local economy. Nearby businesses will experience a drop in demand, which could negatively affect the job security and earning potential of other local workers.

In recognition of the broad negative effects that would result from the closure of Polk State Center, a coalition of diverse groups and individuals have joined together to oppose the proposal, including:

• Residents and their family members.
• Polk State Center employees.
• Local unions representing employees who would be affected.
• Organizations representing local businesses.
• A cross section of municipal, county and state elected officials.
• And many more.

The Petition

The decision by DHS to close Polk State Center generated a lot of concern within our community. People began looking for a way to proactively and productively work to save the center. In an effort to capture that engagement and provide a tool our community can use to show its collective will, I developed this petition.

If you are upset, angry or disappointed by the decision by DHS to close Polk State Center, I urge you to sign this petition. By adding your name to the growing list of community members voicing their outrage and disgust with this proposal, you can help make it clear to DHS that our area supports Polk State Center and wants to see it remain open for years to come.

In recognition of the obvious ramifications that would result from the closure of the center and in support of the coalition that has joined together to fight to keep the facility open, I offer my digital “signature” on this petition in opposition to the proposal offered by DHS to close Polk State Center.

Fields marked with an * must be filled out to sign the petition. We will not share your information with any third party. We are collecting this information to verify the identity of those who sign the petition and in order to keep in contact as this issue progresses in the future.