RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A newlywed mentally disabled couple forced to live in separate group homes may soon be able to move in together.
According to court papers, Paul Forziano and Hava Samuels have been offered an apartment in a group home for the mentally disabled in Riverhead run by East End Disability Associates. The apartment is attached to a group home housing eight others with similar disabilities.
Forziano and Samuels married on April 7 and currently live three miles apart.
“They miss each other now,” Forziano’s mother, Roseann Forziano, told 1010 WINS.
If all goes well, they could move in by July 1.
Forziano said the couple was overjoyed when they found out East End Disability Associates would take them in together.
“When we showed the kids the apartment for the first time last week they were just ecstatic,” Forziano said. “They were so happy and they’re looking forward to living together.”
The couple wasn’t allowed to share a bedroom by the state-sanctioned nonprofits that run the group homes and challenged the practice in a federal civil rights lawsuit.
Forziano said East End Disability Associates has been more open than the previous facilities the couple tried to occupy, and seems eager to help the newlyweds.
“They’re a little more progressive, they’re a little more flexible, they have a better attitude towards change,” Forziano said.
She believes being able to live together like any other couple will help their development and progression.
“He will be living in a new situation as a married man 24/7 which I think is going to be great for them,” Forziano said. “They’ve both grown very much from their relationship and I think being able to live together in a normal setting like a married couple will also continue to help them reach their potential.”
The nonprofits weren’t immediately available for comment.
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