Thu Jul 18, 8:43 AM ET
By Roni Rabin
Ever since she lost her apartment in Floral Park more than two years ago, Anne Regan, who has multiple sclerosis, has shuttled from emergency shelter to homeless hotel, her walker and belongings stowed in the back seat of her 1989 Toyota Tercel.
Fifty-five and fiercely independent, Regan has refused even temporary placement in a nursing facility or adult home, fearing she might never regain the tools of her autonomy - her car and home health aide - once she took such a step. But when she was accommodated in a homeless shelter in Hempstead, she ran headlong into a decade- old state rule that bars residents from receiving personal care services, services Regan needs in order to get up in the morning, bathe and dress.
An accessible motel room was found, but Nassau County Department of Social Services regulations required Regan to check out every few days - and eventually she lost the handicapped-accessible spot.
In October 2000, Regan, represented by Nassau/Suffolk Law Services attorney
Robert Briglio, filed a federal civil suit in U.S. District Court against
state officials and Nassau social services, charging the government's temporary
housing programs were discriminatory and violated the federal Americans
with Disabilities Act.
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