YWCA Cuts Home Care Services Due to State's Rocky Finances | WGLT

YWCA Cuts Home Care Services Due to State's Rocky Finances

Jul 13, 2017

The YWCA McLean County has cut a second program due to the state’s rocky finances, this time forcing around 185 low-income, older adults to switch to a new home-care service provider.

This time the YWCA is stopping Home Care Services, which helps people stay in their home—and out of a nursing home—by helping with meals, reminding them to take medicine, or taking them to doctor’s appointments. The YWCA’s current 185 clients will transition to two other companies, Addus HomeCare and Help at Home. YWCA’s Home Care employees will likely transition to those companies too.

The YWCA’s decision to end its contract with the state, announced Thursday, was two-fold. The state owes the YWCA more than $270,000 for Home Care Services. Meanwhile, the state does not reimburse for many of the costs associated with the program, such as required staff training and technology needs.

“We worked diligently with the Illinois Department on Aging to come to an equitable agreement,” Vicki Hightower, senior director of adult services at YWCA McLean County, said in a statement Thursday. “But IDOA was unwilling to amend our contract so we could keep this essential service. We are devastated that we had to make this decision.”

This past fiscal year (ending June 30), YWCA Home Care provided 48,144 hours of service to clients to keep them safe and independent in their homes. State-assisted clients were 95 percent of the total hours served.

Last week’s end to the budget stalemate was welcomed by local nonprofits who’ve seen already slow state funding choked off in the past two years. Their struggles were chronicled in GLT’s Stretched Thin and Stretched Thinner series, showing programs being cut or curtailed and real lives impacted.

But the damage has been done. The YWCA McLean County previously announced plans to end its Medivan service, due in large part to the state’s budget problems. Many of those clients will shift to Connect Transit’s mobility service.

Home Care Services and Medivan were among the YWCA’s most heavily state-funded programs, said Liz German, vice president of operations for the YWCA McLean County.

“This last move with Home Care Services actually stabilizes us going forward, to a point where we’re pretty confident we won’t have to make any more cuts as long as this budget (lawmakers) put in place stays in place and payments do come,” German told GLT on Thursday.

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