February 16, 2016
The state budget impasse is having a direct effect on local residents as social services agencies struggle to maintain services for residents facing hardships. While most media attention is directed toward larger non-profit agencies, services offered by smaller local agencies such as the Center of Concern are being adversely impacted as well.
As the budget stalemate continues, the Center of Concern continues to place a larger burden on staff and redirects already stretched general operating dollars to cover shortfalls in funding. In order to maintain current service programs for local senior citizens, family caregivers and residents seeking homelessness prevention services, it is imperative for state elected officials to understand that the Center of Concern will be forced to reduce service delivery and shift a greater burden onto taxpayer funded police, fire and emergency room first responders.
The Center was forced to rely more heavily on donations from individuals and local businesses when it lost finding from the City of Park Ridge and the United Way in recent years. The latest reductions in funding from the State of Illinois present an even greater need for private support.
Besides the economic impact – the impact to our neighbors is the most troubling. We are here to help people remain independent and help persons keep functioning as citizens in our community. Soon the lack of funding will seriously affect our older citizens’ ability to remain independent and will lessen their healthy quality of life. The shortfall in state funding not only affects citizens in the here and now but impacts their future as well. Issues and problems that go unanswered or unmet in the short term will lead to a greater social cost to our local community.
Kathleen Rolsing, President, Board of Directors
John McNabola, Executive Director