(Chicago, IL) – December 19, 2011. Here’s an example of Illinois state government dysfunction at its worst.
On December 11, ACB-7 TV’s Karen Meyer reported, because of Illinois budget cuts, that the Chicago-based Anixter Center this year had to close two, state-backed group homes for children with disabilities.
On December 16, Governor Pat Quinn announced a $15 million housing program for people with disabilities.
“Fifteen years ago the state of Illinois asked us to build two homes to serve 16 medically fragile children with disabilities. We did that very successfully we created excellent model of community, independent living for those individuals,” said Kevin Limbeck, Anixter president and CEO.
In May Anixter closed them. State budget cuts.
“Because the state cut our funding by 38 percent and so that’s been very disruptive for the individuals that were living there and their families,” said Limbeck. “We lost half a million dollars in nine months serving them but the reduction was really extreme and so unfortunately weren’t able to continue the services.”
Nevertheless, Quinn wants to build more housing for people with disabilities, in partnership this time with Chicago-based non-profit Access Living, though he can not properly funding the program services that forced the closure of Anixter’s housing for children with disabilities.
“By increasing accessible and affordable housing opportunities for our state’s residents with disabilities, we are helping to increase their independence and improve their quality of life,” Governor Quinn said, announcing the new building program.
Meanwhile the quality of life and the independence for 16 medically fragile Illinois children has worsened simultaneously. Shameful.
This is no way to run a railroad, Governor.
A commitment to independence for children and adults with disabilities and the wise management of tax payer money needs to be built on something sturdier and more substantial than a press release and a 45-minute media event.
Access Living, take note.