Workhouses didn’t vanish because someone abolished poverty or something.
In countries where workhouses no longer exist (or exist in only highly disguised and mutated forms), they no longer exist because the people in these countries decided workhouses were horrible and not an acceptable response to poverty.
I’m sure that in the heyday of workhouses, they felt as inevitable as institutions for disabled people feel to lots of people today. Lots of people probably even thought they were a good thing – and the only possible way to do certain good things.
A lot of people think the solution to institutions is to cure disabled people.
Disability will always exist and has always existed.
Institutions did not always exist and will not always exist. They are not necessary. There is not a single good thing done inside of them that can’t be done outside of them, and better.
Nursing homes, developmental centers, mental institutions, group homes, orphanages, all these things and more do not have to exist. (This includes the worst of the “home care” agencies – only “home care” by name – that are basically institutions where the inmates live in separate places scattered all over town. And other forms of what I call “community institutionalization”. It’s possible to provide care without an institutional power structure. Really.)
Literally do not have to exist.
All we frigging have to do is understand that not living in a hellhole (and even a painted-up hellhole with lots of perks that doesn’t feel to some people like as much of a hellhole, is a hellhole, also Stockholm syndrome is a thing) is a basic human right.
And if it’s a basic human right for everyone to live outside institutions. And if it takes a certain kind of assistance for certain people to live outside institutions. Then that assistance is a human right. Assistance should never, ever be offered in a way where you can only get it if you agree to be institutionalized. Just like food should never, ever be offered in a way where you can only get it if you agree to live in a workhouse (or join a religion, or etc.).
TL;DR: THERE IS NOTHING NECESSARY OR INEVITABLE ABOUT INSTITUTIONS SO EVERYONE PLEASE QUIT ACTING LIKE THERE IS.