Summertime Blues? Here’s an idea…
According to the National Weather Bureau, it was the hottest May on record. Ever. To me, June has seemed a bit steamy too. On the other hand, the colder nights are only 3 ½ months away.
Next week there’s a meeting in Country Club Hills to identify goals, successful strategies, and upcoming needs for the over-thirty church sites that provide shelter, care, food, and housing assistance for the large populations of homeless on the South Side of the city. Other collective programs are meeting in other areas too.
Because the shelters are more critically needed during inclement weather, these preparatory meetings normally take place in late summer. But, if next ”season” is like this last year in Illinois, the Governor may jeopardize what was a desperate struggle to keep assistance programs alive further. Rauner had promised that “there would be some pain” as we moved toward his vision of a more business-friendly environment, but his victims have been those most vulnerable.
In just two weeks, Illinois will start its second year without a state budget.
We're still urging lawmakers to put aside their differences and pass a balanced budget with adequate revenue before then. Meanwhile, it's also vital that Governor Rauner sign Senate Bill 2038, an emergency funding bill that would provide more than $700 million for human service programs, including those that serve seniors, children and people with disabilities.
The bill includes nearly $225 million in state funding for programs such as homeless shelters, supportive housing, rental subsidies, foreclosure prevention and housing construction. This funding—as well as additional funds for affordable housing—would have been available 11 months ago if not for the state budget impasse. It's been languishing on Governor Rauner's desk for nearly a month now. It passed through both the House and Senate with bipartisan support.
Call the Governor at (217) 782-0244 NOW and urge him to stand up for our children, families, and communities by signing Senate Bill 2038!
Each day that goes by without this bill being signed into law means that more families in Illinois needlessly become homeless because service providers have to turn them away.
• The Southern Illinois Coalition for the Homeless has had to reduce its hours, cut back services, and sell properties that once sheltered those experiencing homelessness.
• Helping Hands of Springfield is only keeping its shelter open thanks to increased donations.
• The latest round of cutbacks at Community Elements, a mental health agency in Champaign, included shutting down its Roundhouse shelter for homeless youth, eliminating sack lunches, and greatly reducing its residential program for men transitioning from homelessness to self-sufficiency.
...the list goes on and on. We can't let it get any longer. Call the Governor today and tell him to sign SB 2038!
Housing Action Illinois
11 E. Adams #1601
Chicago, IL 60603