An article from the Times poses the question: could Streator Unlimited go private and stop depending on Illinois?
Second in a series of articles from the Times on persons impacted by the grant cuts for SU. Also a continuation of the penny-wise, pound-foolish theme highlighted on this website.
An article in the Times today. A good opportunity to hear from people whose funding for services has been cut.
Rather, IL Owes SU $455,666.76 as of this morning. It’s kind of a pick-your-poison thing…what will get us worse (or first)…the delayed payments or the funding cuts. We believe that things will eventually get better, but are beginning to fear we won’t be around to see the other side. Still, the dedication of our staff and the support of the Streator Community may prove to be more powerful than a state with poor priorities for its funds.
An article on how late payments are fraying the entire human services safety net. We continue to be stunned here at SU over the elimination of the grants which were so important to the lives of 32 people. It’s still hard to believe. It is unfortunate that people with developmental disabilities don’t have a stronger voice.
One more article on utilization of the limited resources available to the state. When you don’t have much, it is so important to make sure your resources are used in the most effective manner.
Thanks for thinking of us, Amanda.
The Times published an article on the elimination of our grants today. It’s a scary thing, an not one only happening at Streator Unlimited, but around the state.
It’s very true that Illinois is in great financial trouble, and can’t be everything to everyone. That’s why it’s so important to prioritize every penny carefully. As one of our consumers rode his bike to my house Sunday evening at dusk to ask about the future of his program, I pictured all the state ribbon-cuttings for new things I have seen in various newspapers and empathized strongly with the people quoted in this article. I tried to reassure him without offering false hope, but the subtlety of that escapes even me with my master’s degree and many years of experience. I worried about him as he left, because his bike didn’t have a light and it was getting dark.
Right now we’re feeling like Chicken Little when the sky actually did fall, or like the boy who cried wolf when the wolves really came. After years of it being cut or threatened to be cut and then restored, our grant funding for the State of Illinois is now officially eliminated. This amounts to around $148,000/year and critical services for people with developmental disabilities in Streator.
Twenty-four of these people will be eligible to go on the waiting list for funding through the Medicaid Waiver. Unfortunately, the list is 20,000 people long and very few ever come off it. The others will no longer be eligible for funding through the Division of Developmental Disabilities.
We grieve this loss. It will lessen quality of life. It will result in some people no longer earning money and being taxpayers and in good health and not needing much medical care to people who may be more of a drain on the system, costing more money than is saved in the long run.
That said, Illinois is in a financial crisis and must spend their funds on what they feel (what we tell them) is most important. We tried to let them know how important these services are, but we were to few people and too small a voice.