A student in my class wrote this letter to our governor:
Dear Governor Quinn
I’m writing to ask you to change your mind about making cuts of up to five hundred million dollars in the area of human services. Now, I understand that the state is in debt and cuts have to be made, but why must the majority of the cuts be in human services? If the cuts were more evenly distributed among all areas then maybe such a devastating blow won’t be dealt to human services
By cutting funds to human services there are greater strains to individuals, children, families and communities at a time when they are already struggling and need help. Too many cuts can lead to a dismantling of the security net of treatment for Illinois citizens with mental illness and developmental disabilities, people caught in the trap of addiction to drugs and alcohol, and persons in need of domestic violence services. These cuts will add to the loss of family job supports, which includes child care assistance, day care programs, and after school programs, that help to support working parents and also are a benefit to the children involved. Another important factor is a loss of jobs. The human service sector is a major employer in the state of Illinois. And unpaid bills and budget cuts have caused lay-offs or have shut down agencies. Doesn’t it make more sense to help people before they’re past the point of help, and end up committing crimes to support their families or continue on with their addictions? By having these services available, we can help people to better themselves and their lives and this could lead to a greater future for Illinois.
In closing, just remember how much this will impact our most vulnerable populations in Illinois. How would you feel if you or someone you know needed one of these services and couldn’t receive them because they no longer exist, or you were turned away because they have reached the maximum limit possible. Imagine being scared and alone with no one and nowhere to turn to for help. Now keep this feeling in your mind because this is how many Illinois citizens will feel for many years to come if the majority of budget cuts fall onto human services.