CBS4 : Quad Cities, IL
Quad Citians with disabilities could end up on the streets. If Illinois doesn't anti–up, the future of a non–profit could be on the line.
Stone–Hayes Center for Independent Living in Galesburg helps folks with disabilities live on their own. The state has not only cut from its budget, but owes money. A lack of funding means a lack of services.
About ten years ago Deborah Williams was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, soon after, she became legally blind. She said before finding Stone–Hayes, "I just had to stumble around and figure it out by myself."
Now, Williams is not alone. Whether it's help with housing, food, or other needs, Stone–Hayes points folks with disabilities in the right direction
"We give services from birth to death at no charge," explained executive director Dale Parsons, "so many people have disabilities and their families don't want to accept them."
However Stone–Hayes may not be able to continue its mission much longer if the state doesn't pay up. Illinois already owes 50 thousand this year, and has cut nearly that amount next year. Stone–Hayes fears what will happen to the people they help if the money never comes.
"They're going to be in the hospital, jail, nursing home or on the streets," Parsons said.
Williams said it would be devastating to lose the place, not just for the services, but for the emotional support.
"Every Tuesday we have peer mentoring, and it's great to meet people in my situation so I don't feel so alone."
Stone–Hayes leaders said they can still operate for a couple of years, but it's going to be tight and changes will have to be made.