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White Haven Center Bill Passes State House

HARRISBURG, Pa. — It’s a step forward in the fight to keep the White Haven Center open a little longer in Luzerne County. The place that cares for p...

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- It's a step forward in the fight to keep the White Haven Center open a little longer in Luzerne County.

The place that cares for people with severe disabilities was on the list to close in about three years.

State officials made that big announcement over the summer.

Since then, there's been a fight to keep the facility open.

On Wednesday, the State House okayed a bill that would do just that for another five years giving people a chance to find other facilities for their loved ones.

The White Haven Center provides round the clock for more than 100 people with severe disabilities.

State lawmakers who are fighting to keep the center open say some of the residents have lived there for 40 or 50 years.

The bill now heads back to the Senate for final approval.

The state says the closure is part of an effort to move Pennsylvanians away from institutionalized care.