There's a constant stream of news about drastic cuts to next year's state budget that will reduce or eliminate important services. We've pointed out the impact Gov. Pat Quinn's budget would have on immigrants, schools, and the Department of Human Services. Now, advocates for the state's homeless are protesting in Springfield about cuts they say will lead to more homelessness in Illinois.
The cuts, coupled with the struggling economy and the foreclosure crisis, will put significant strain on needed services. A statement sent out by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless says that 41 percent, or $10 million, of the money for homeless services have been cut in the last four years and another $11 million is on the chopping block in the proposed FY 2012 budget. In addition to the cuts, many of the services are being transferred out of DHS and into other agencies with less experience in homeless issues.
These programs not only assist the homeless, but they help them find and maintain housing. Brenda Johnson, the executive director of Helping Hands in Springfield, said, “All these programs work together to provide a range of services based on the individual needs of people forced into homelessness and they help them move back into stable housing."