Warning signs for group homes emerge amid budget stalemate (WRAL-TV) -- The prospect of big changes in group home resident Eric's life came up earlier this month when Easter Seals, the nonprofit that runs the group home where he lives, gave notice to the state and local mental health agencies that they would close the Zebulon group home and seven others across the state. Four of those homes serve adults with mental illness, while four others serve adults like Eric with developmental disabilities. In all, 40 people would be affected. Officials with Easter Seals insist they took the decision to close these homes based on their waning ability to care for the aging residents with the dollars available, not any systematic problem with how the state and local governments manage group homes. However, mental health advocates worry that, if a large, well-run nonprofit finds it challenging to keep up with the needs of residents, smaller companies are surely feeling the economic pinch as well.