For at least four years, Martha Bryant has been working non-stop to keep the Central Virginia Training Center (CVTC) from closing.
One of her biggest hurdles has been getting the public and lawmakers to understand who lives there.
"We're a minority population who have the most complex needs," Bryant told WDBJ7 Friday. "Most of the individuals who live at (training centers) are non verbal or non ambulatory."
Bryant's twin sons have lived at CVTC most of their lives. Both were born premature and have profound disabilities that limit their speech and movement.
If forced to leave the training center, Bryant believes they would die in a matter of days.
"Some people can be served in the community, but some people require a training center," Bryant said. "My sons certainly require a training center."
Bryant shared her concerns with State Senator Steve Newman. He introduced a bill in this year's General Assembly that passed with bipartisan support.
Senate Bill 627 prevents training center residents from being moved, unless they can receive equal care in the community. It also created a work group, to explore the possibility of keeping the training centers open.
"As a conservative, I'm very careful with the people's money, but clearly there's one set of people that God asked us to take care of, and that is people who can't take care of themselves," said Newman, a Republican who represents Virginia's 23rd state senate district.
Federal lawmakers are following Newman's lead. Eight Virginia Congressman, including Bob Goodlatte and Robert Hurt, sent a letter to Governor Terry McAuliffe this week, asking him to defer action on closing or selling Virginia's training centers.
"We really need to continue to provide services to the families that depend on and appreciate the importance of these training centers to the people they take care of," said Hurt, in a telephone interview with WDBJ7 Friday.
As of now all of Virginia's training centers, including CVTC, are scheduled to close by 2020. Intervention from Governor McAuliffe could alter that timetable.
The work group set up by Newman's bill will meet again on August 4th in Richmond.