How budget cuts will affect Fox Valley

 
 
  • The Association for Individual Development held its 10th annual telethon in February which raised more than $75,000. Possible cuts in the state budget may result in $3.2 million being lost for AID programs and services.

    The Association for Individual Development held its 10th annual telethon in February which raised more than $75,000. Possible cuts in the state budget may result in $3.2 million being lost for AID programs and services. Daniel White | Staff Photographer

Published: 6/22/2009 12:10 AM

The community is invited to informational meetings on Monday, June 22, to discuss the effects of budget cuts at the Association for Individual Development, which has offices in Aurora and Elgin.

The informational sessions will be held at 9, 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the AID Thompson Center, 309 New Indian Trail, Aurora; and 3 p.m. at AID Elgin Services, 1135 Bowes Road, Elgin.

AID invites anyone with questions, comments or concerns to attend any of the meetings. These sessions will not only serve as informational meetings but also an opportunity to hear the voices of clients, family members of clients and staff that will be directly affected by this dire situation.

The state of Illinois' social service programs are facing a doomsday budget, slashing program funding by an average of 50 percent. If passed, this budget will go into effect on July 1. The funding cuts will result in of $3.2 million being lost for vital AID programs and services. AID will be forced to close many programs and services to individuals with developmental disabilities, mental illness and people who will be in need of crisis intervention in the Fox Valley.

AID programs that are in jeopardy of losing complete funding include: early intervention; respite; regular work; supported living; developmental disability case management; Indian Trail supervised living; psychiatric services; psychosocial rehab; homeless youth; and alcohol and substance abuse case management. These program closures mean that more than 1,000 individuals with disabilities will be without services and more than 65 AID employees will lose their jobs as well as 200 family respite workers and six contract therapists. Cutting these programs will not solve the budget woes that AID faces. Other programs throughout the agency will be forced to drastically reduce their services to individuals. "This is the most vulnerable population of people in our state; taking services away that they depend on to survive is unjust," said Lynn O'Shea, AID president.

AID is a nonprofit, community-based organization whose mission is to empower individuals with disabilities, mental illness and special needs to achieve independence and community inclusion. AID currently serves over 4,200 clients and has been dedicated to helping people in need in the Fox Valley area for 48 years.