Advocates Ask Rauner to Discuss Cuts to Homeless Services Instead of Life in the Executive Mansion During Today's Facebook Live Event

Submitted on Mon, 12/12/2016 - 12:01

 

Advocates Ask Rauner to Discuss Cuts to Homeless Services Instead of Life in the Executive Mansion During Today's Facebook Live Event

State Budget Impasse and December 31 Expiration of “Stopgap Budget” are Hurting Ability of Supportive Housing Providers to Serve People Who Otherwise Would Be Homeless

 

WHO: Bob Palmer, Policy Director for Housing Action Illinois

WHERE: Housing Action Illinois Facebook live video 

WHEN: Thursday, December 1 at 3:00 p.m.

WHAT: In anticipation of Governor Rauner’s Facebook Live event, to be held at 7:30 p.m. on December 1, advocates to create affordable housing and end homelessness call on Governor Rauner to tell us why he continues to hold up passage of a fully funded budget with adequate revenue based on his non-budget “turnaround agenda” demands. This is much more important question than what Governor Rauner’s Facebook page suggests he will discuss during his online chat with First Lady Diana Rauner, including “our favorite things, what we like to do to relax and what it’s like living in the Executive Mansion.”

In anticipation of Governor Rauner’s Facebook Live event, to be held at 7:30 p.m. on December 1, advocates to create affordable housing and end homelessness are asking Governor Rauner to tell us why he continues to hold up passage of a fully funded budget with adequate revenue, especially for programs that serve people experiencing homelessness, based on his non-budget “turnaround agenda” demands.

“We are asking Governor Rauner to explain why people who are homeless have to suffer because of the state budget impasse and inadequate funding for basic human needs, such as housing,” said Bob Palmer, Policy Director for Housing Action Illinois. “It isn’t fair that our elected officials, including Governor Rauner, are able to celebrate the holidays from the warmth of their homes and not address the needs of those who have no home at all.”

With the stopgap budget expiring on December 31, 2016, we think this is a more important question for Governor Rauner than hearing about the topics his Facebook page suggests he plans to discuss during the online chat with First Lady Diana Rauner, including “our favorite things, what we like to do to relax and what it’s like living in the Executive Mansion.”

State-funded homeless service providers, who operate homelessness prevention programs, services for unaccompanied youth, emergency shelters, transitional living programs and supportive housing, have been struggling throughout the state budget impasse, now entering its 16th month. Agencies have laid off staff, reduced and eliminated services, denied shelter to people experiencing homelessness and taken other actions to deal with the impasse.

Supportive housing providers serving people who were formerly homeless or at risk of becoming homeless have particularly struggled during the state budget impasse. The stopgap budget passed earlier this year only provides $8 million in funding through the Supportive Housing Services line item and no funding will be available after December 31, 2016. To adequately fund this line item would actually take $16.1 million in order to pay for services, such as case management and job training, in all the permanent supportive housing projects throughout the state that need it.

During the fiscal year prior to the start of the state budget impasse, Fiscal Year 2015, the Supportive Housing Services Program, provided services to 12,274 people who were formerly homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, including single adults and families with children.

Supportive housing is a wise investment, as it is vastly more affordable than housing an individual in a state mental hospital, state prison or nursing home. In addition to the supportive housing services specifically for people who were formerly homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, other State of Illinois supportive housing resources serve people with a serious mental illness. These providers will also stop receiving funding after December 31.

Supportive housing provides affordable rental homes with essential social and human services closely attached. It ends homelessness and unnecessary institutionalization for children and adults who have special needs such as a mental illness, an intellectual or developmental disability and/or chronic, debilitating physical illnesses like multiple sclerosis or HIV/AIDS.

This Facebook Live event is being presented by Housing Action Illinois, a statewide coalition formed to protect and expand the availability of quality, affordable housing throughout Illinois. Housing Action Illinois is a member of the Responsible Budget Coalition, a large, diverse non-partisan coalition of more than 300 organizations unified in support of a fully funded, yearlong state budget with adequate revenue to serve our people and empower our communities.

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