Save community based supports for people with disabilities

2015-February-9-Action-Alert-CILS
Dear Access Living friends and allies,

We continue to push forward! A big thanks to everyone who participated in our CIL action alert yesterday, February 9. (It’s not too late, you can still do it here ).

Today (February 10), we need your help to tell legislators about the importance of the Home Services Program (HSP) and the Community Care Program (CCP). HSP generally serves people with disabilities from 18 to 59, and the CCP serves seniors age 60 and up. In HSP, people with disabilities are able to choose and manage their own personal attendant, or home care worker, who help with a range of personal essential services (bathing, dressing, eating, laundry, toileting, etc). In CCP, seniors are assisted by homemakers.

The HSP program serves about 30,000 people with disabilities all across Illinois. The CCP program serves more than 80,000 seniors across our state. Thousands of workers provide the services within the program. However, both HSP and CCP are currently at risk of lacking funding to finish the year through June 30, 2015. the funding for both programs during the following year (FY16) is unclear at this point.

The Governor, as you know, is due to give his budget speech on February 18. Budget specifics for FY 16 will hopefully be released at that point. Right now, disability advocates are working hard to let legislators know what will happen if there is, possibly, a 20% across the board cut to human services like HSP and CCP.

Cutting 20% of HSP and CCP will mean that thousands of people with disabilities and seniors could find themselves with reduced hours for things they need. Some may find their hours eliminated altogether. From a disability perspective, HSP consumers in particular have had to jump many hoops during the last couple of years as the state has tried to streamline the program. The problem is, there’s no way to cut back services that are so desperately needed…not to mention that providing attendant supports and homemaker services are an important source of jobs for thousands of Illinoisans.

So we need your help. Please go to this link ( http://www.capwiz.com/accessliving/issues/alert/?alertid=64113626&type=ST ) and fill out the quick form to your legislator. Our system will instantly send your letter to the right legislators. PLEASE do this now, and ask your friends to help. People with disabilities and seniors are counting on YOU to step up.

Let’s go Illinois!

Amber Smock
Director of Advocacy, Access Living