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The Mechanics
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Event Tue Apr 12 2011

How to Help Save Homeless Services

protest_five_camera.JPG
(A Chicago Coalition for the Homeless protest in December 2009)

Advocates with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless are taking 100 people to Springfield Wednesday morning, joining other citizens in a fight to prevent the further slashing of state-funded services that support homeless residents.

Budget cuts have been particularly brutal to homeless services, which benefit those who are continuing to have fewer and fewer options.

According to an e-mail organizer Hannah Willage sent out, funding for state-funded homeless programs were cut 41 percent this year, and they could be cut by up to 68 percent in the coming budget year.


Willage writes:

Homeless prevention grants helped 2,322 households in 2010, 89% of whom were able to avoid becoming homeless. That same year, state funding was cut by $8.6 million, and another $1 million is to be cut next year, leaving just $1.4 million in the prevention grant program.

We can't let this happen.



Even if you aren't in Springfield on Wednesday, you can still help. The Coalition recommends telling your elected officials that you are against these proposed cuts.

You can find your State Representative and Senator here.

You can also call, e-mail, or write to your legislators, and help spread the word on Facebook. Download a letter the Coalition provides here.

Read more about the budget cuts and their consequences here (PDF).

 
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WAJ / April 13, 2011 4:54 PM

Talk about a teaching moment.

Mechanics posted a nice profile of a woman who was forced into insolvency because "By the summer of 2008, the money from her business loan ran out, and the state had fallen three months behind in paying her" As a result, the bank started the foreclosure process and eventually became homeless.

http://gapersblock.com/mechanics/2011/04/04/not-a-wonderful-life-the-effects-of-aggressive-foreclosure/

So we have an example where the state of IL cannot pay its existing social service providers in a timely enough manner. The results of which prevent those organizations from meeting their financial obligations, and in some cases leads to bankruptcy and possible homelessness.

On the other hand, we have a situation where current homeless services budgets have been cut because the state cannot afford the outlay any longer. Considering that the costs of financing IL debt is now more expensive since their bond ratings were degraded, this should not be a surprise.

So this poses the obvious question: Do you continue to provide support for homeless services or do you support making more people homeless?

When a government enters into a debt spiral, this is what happens. Less services @ more cost. Across the board.

Yet, our "leaders" do not heed what history has shown time after time, and would rather demagogue fiscal resposibility as draconian measures.

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About Mechanics

Mechanics is the politics section of Gapers Block, reflecting the diversity of viewpoints and beliefs of Chicagoans and Illinoisans. More...
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Editor: Mike Ewing, mike@gapersblock.com
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