Check out our new page featuring facts from our 50th Anniversary.
- $39.24 from Amazon Smile. Please keep supporting us from using the link when you shop at Amazon!
- $132 from Thrivent Choice. If you’re a member, please select Streator Unlimited for your Thrivent Choice Dollars!
- $246.22 from Kroger Community Rewards. If you haven’t registered your card yet, please add SU!
- $FY16 state funding. A court ordered the state to start paying for services provided in the new fiscal year (beginning July 1). Previously the state had said they wouldn’t pay us until the budget was finished. Even so, we won’t breathe easy until a budget is passed, because they could still cut our funding. Honestly, state financial crises notwithstanding, we really need an increase.
We’re incredibly fortunate to have such strong support from our community through individual donations, support of businesses and clubs, the LaSalle County Mental Health Board funded by your tax dollars, grants we’re able to obtain and the Streator Area United Way. It all makes a big difference in what we’re able to do!
The annual State of the States Report is ready. If you look at the state scorecard link, Illinois sadly remains near the bottom at 47. There doesn’t appear to be any discussion in Springfield about how to get our rating to a place that reflects the great state we are.
A great article on the interaction of learning/developmental disabilities and the criminal justice system. We at SU have supported people though such issues. We can have an incredible impact on a person’s life by helping them stay out of jail or prison and become independent, self-supporting tax-payers. If you’re a state faced with difficult funding decisions based on lack of resources, this makes financial sense. The cost of monitoring, prosecuting and incarcerating a person is a lot higher than collecting taxes from that same person if they get the supports to be successful. When you under-fund a community system, you end up spending more on the last-resort options like institutions for people with disabilities or prisons.
And this doesn’t begin to touch the issues on the mental health side of this.
A nice article in the Chicago Tribune (summary here not blocked by a paywall). SU is fortunate that the state has notified us that we will eventually get paid for the services provided as of July 1, though there is no guarantee of the rate we will be paid or when the money will arrive. We have plans in place to ride out the budget stalemate in Springfield, at least for a couple of months. The lack of increases (and cuts as well) over the years are catching up with us now though…we’re hitting our limits in terms of keeping up with rising costs like insurance and other bills as well as paying our employees a decent wage.
SU is just one of the agencies that has signed this letter. We start our new fiscal years on July 1, and it really is difficult to set a budget without knowing what our state funding will be. Fortunately for SU, the state has notified us that we will receive funding in our coming year. We don’t know for sure that our rates won’t be cut though. We’ll also have difficulty if they pass a minimum wage increase but don’t give us additional funding to cover it. So, for now, we’re cutting back on our spending and reducing outings for our residents, and holding off on filling positions that go empty.
The major challenge is that we won’t receive any payments from the state until they pass a budget. That’s scary! We do have a line of credit we can draw on if our bank accounts empty out. We certainly hope it doesn’t come to that.
We also empathize with agencies whose funding is not guaranteed by the state beginning July 1. If they keep providing services, they don’t know of they’ll get paid for them until a state budget is passed! Some can’t afford to do that. Hopefully this budget will be completed very soon.
We added the 2015 state survey of our day and residential programs to our Documents and Reports page. We were pleased to have scores of 97% and 99%. These are unannounced surveys. The day program is surveyed every year while the residential program is surveyed every 3 years. We live the rules and do our best every day so don’t mind them being unannounced, other than carving the time out of our day to help the surveyor with documentation, inspections, etc. The surveys look at a wide variety of things, from interviews with consumers and employees and guardians, personnel records, governance, service plans, Safety and Human Rights and Behavioral Intervention Committee minutes, policies and beyond.
On April 26, a big crew of employees from Exelon volunteered their time at the new house on Illinois Street. They tore out the bathrooms, walls, floor covering, drop ceiling, capped all the electric, tire out plumbing, landscaped and more. We were shocked when we realized they had done so much demolition inside yet somehow left it cleaner than they found it. Exelon also donated plants, mulch, and a roll off dumpster.
The house is a donation from Wells Fargo, along with $7,500 towards renovation. The Dunham Fund donated $20,000 as well. Established by John C. Dunham in 1996, funded in 2007 in accordance with the provisions of Mr. Dunham’s trust and nurtured during the intervening years by Mr. Dunham and a board of personally appointed advisors, the Dunham Fund honors Mr. Dunham’s life and philanthropy through grants to organizations that have the vision and programs to help fulfill Mr. Dunham’s dream of “making the world a more comfortable, safer place for mankind to live and prosper.”
Senator Rezin sent by a certificate of the IL Senate Recognition of SU’s 50th Anniversary. Thank you for thinking of us in the midst of a very busy session, Senator!
Our party turned out great–450 people in attendance. People said they really enjoyed it and were virtually all surprised to see just how many different things go on at SU.
SU could never have made it 50 years without the support of all of our friends and the Streator Community. Thank you all. Here’s to the next 50!!