Social Services

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The two candidates for Normal Township Supervisor have opposing views on making the public assistance program more efficient.

Township duties are to determine the value of property for taxation, to take care of roads not maintained by other government entities and to distribute welfare to the local poor who are not eligible for other public aid.

Project Love The Ladies

What does a poor woman do when it's that time of the month? It's a difficult question when most available cash goes to putting food on the table.

There is an answer for some in Bloomington Normal. It's called Project Love the Ladies.

CBlue98 / Flickr

McLean County Government is planning a behavioral health forum as part of its continued focus on mental health issues.

County Board Chair John McIntyre said it will be May 18th.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Politicians of all parties often sidestep awkward questions.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner followed that tradition during a stop at Heartland Community College in Normal on Wednesday.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

At least one social service director is beginning to wonder if social service agencies are caught in the middle of the state budget crisis or if the agencies are in the cross hairs.

Tazwood Center For Wellness

Editors Note: During our interview series Stretched Thin, we reported on the impact of the state budget impasse on local social service agencies   That was in spring of 2016. There's still no budget. In our new series Stretched Thinner, we check back in with those social social service agencies.

MCCA

Editors Note: During our interview series Stretched Thin, we reported on the impact of the state budget impasse on local social service agencies   That was in spring of 2016. There's still no budget. In our new series Stretched Thinner, we check back in with those social social service agencies.  

Mid Central Community Action in Bloomington is keeping its head above water as it tries to deliver services to the homeless, to those escaping and recovering from domestic violence, and to those who are trying to stabilize their lives.

Cristian Jaramillio / Staff

Several programs operated by the Bloomington-Normal YWCA rely heavily on state funds. Liz German, Vice President of Operations at the YW says the impasse in Springfield has many of those programs on hold.

"We have been told that, as of January 1, there is no more money," German said during Sound Ideas. "Theoretically there are hundreds of thousands of dollars we won't be getting. This hurts because it means federal matching dollars won't be available either," she added.

One position has already been eliminated, German said, and other cuts are on the way.

Cristan Jaramillo / WGLT

Editors Note: During our interview series Stretched Thin, we reported on the impact of the state budget impasse on local social service agencies and heard how the stalemate was affecting members of the community.  That was in spring of 2016. There's still no budget. In our new series Stretched Thinner, we check back in with those social social service agencies. 

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

The Children's Home and Aid Regional Office in Bloomington received rare good news late last year when it received a $577,000 grant from the Illinois Board of Education. The money was targeted to expand the agency's "Preschool For All" and "Prevention Initiative" programs that combined serve children from birth to age 5. 

Korn Unews / Flickr via Creative Commons

Editors Note: Last spring during our interview series Stretched Thin, we reported on the impact of the state budget impasse on local social service agencies. There's still no budget. In our new series Stretched Thinner, we check back with those social social service agencies. 

Baby Fold

Representatives from Bloomington-Normal non-profit groups are responding to Governor Rauner's State of the State message with a joint plea for a state budget.

During an interview recorded for the series Stretched Thinner, airing next week on GLT, YWCA vice president of operations Liz German, said going without a budget for nearly two years has put undue expectations on social service agencies.

Bill Waller / Facebook

Tar on a bench and a spate of calls to police complaining about homeless people near businesses in downtown Bloomington last summer focused attention on the issue.

Not a lot has happened publicly since then, but Downtown Bloomington Association Director Tricia Stiller says there has ben an effort to communicate on the issue among stakeholder.

Tony Morstatter is the new CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomington-Normal.  The club board made the announcement yesterday in a statement. 

Multicultural Leadership Program

A group of leadership learners is figuring out how to re-stock the workforce of an aging agency.

The Multicultural Leadership Program in Bloomington Normal just recently finished its mid-term presentations in which various teams tell how they are helping other not for profits with a challenge.

Western Avenue Community Center

The Western Avenue Community Center is cutting back its hours and trying to boost the number of volunteers it has.

In a news release, the center says come traditional funding sources have diminished and they want to be efficient with staff time.

McLean County Museum of History

As many social service agencies in the state suffer from lack of state funding today, we hearken back to an era when such services came only from the local community.

GLT's Charlie Schlenker produced this edition of the occasional series McHistory done in partnership with the McLean County Museum of History.

Staff / WGLT

An education is part of the fabled ticket to a self sufficient life. But, very few foster children ever have a real shot at going to college.

Lauretta Schaefer is a dance education major at Illinois State University who spent her early childhood in the foster care system before being adopted.

Judi Jacobs / Children's Home and Aid

Children's Home and Aid, a Bloomington-based social service education agency for young, at-risk children, is getting more $577,000 from the Illinois Board of Education to add and expand services.

Emma Shores / WGLT

Two not-for-profit organizations are hopeful a new fundraiser will get people on their feet to bid on chairs decorated by area artists. 

The auction on Nov. 4 will benefit Recycling Furniture For Families (RF4F) and the YWCA's Labyrinth Outreach Services for Women. RF4F has provided furniture to 15,000 people since 2003.

Human Trafficking Rescue Group: Twin Cities Has Five Brothels

Nov 1, 2016
Catalyst Ministries

Bloomington-Normal has five brothels.

That's according to Catalyst Ministries President and Founder Julie Ryan.

U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr/Creative Commons

About 260,000 low-income Illinois residents were in danger of losing food stamp priveleges early next year.

The administration of Governor Bruce Rauner has applied for a federal waiver to continue access through 2017.

Illinois Department of Children and Family Services / Facebook

Illinois has created a network of emergency foster care homes.

Department of Children and Family Services Director George Sheldon says these homes are places youth in the state's care can be sent in lieu of emergency shelters.

Sheldon told a legislative panel Tuesday that there's currently capacity for 36 kids.  His goal is to have room for 50.

"Frankly, this state had a series of emergency foster homes a decade or so ago. I don't know why that was abandoned. I think it's a much more appropriate facility," he said.

Community Health Care Clinic

The Community Health Care Clinic in Normal is adding dental service as it opens its expanded facility on Franklin Avenue later this month.

Director Angie McGlaughlin said they have created a four chair clinic to add to what the health department is already doing. Area dentists also offer periodic extraction clinics.

Judith Valente

Home Sweet Home Ministries and the Midwest Food Bank are hoping to collect 50,000 pounds of food donations this Sunday from customers at the Hy-Vee supermarket in Bloomington. 

Wikimedia Commons

Gathering accurate numbers and determining the true scope of homelessness is difficult. The people are transient, sometimes don't identify as homeless, or may be hidden as the person is couch surfing instead of sleeping on the street. Trying to track subsets, like homeless youth or LGBTQ youth homelessness is even more difficult. 

theempowermentproject.com

The Women to Women Giving Circle of the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation is an organization founded by women for women and children.

In the last six years, it's provided more than $200,000 in grants for local programs and projects.

This year, the focus will be programs that " inspire girls and young women to achieve their  highest potential," according to Kathi Davis, the foundation's program director.

About $40,000 in grants will be available for those programs.

Jim Browne / WGLT

Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed measures that would increase wages for workers who care for those with developmental disabilities and expand a child care program for low-income families.  

The Republican governor said there isn't enough money to support the proposals.  

Rauner has used the same argument to block social service funding efforts during the budget impasse.  

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Meet Joch. He's the latest addition to the Children's Advocacy Center and the McLean County State's Attorney's office.

Joch will be there to make it easier for children to be in a courtroom or to give testimony or interviews to officials in what can sometimes be a scary setting.

WGLT

Joining Charlie Schlenker for a round table discussion on issues affecting the homeless are Tricia Stiller, the Executive  Director of the Downtown Bloomington Association, Jordan Collins, outreach coordinator of PATH, an agency that tries to match the homeless with services, and Matt Burgess, the Chief Operating Officer of Home Sweet Home Ministries which operates a shelter and provides meals on Oakland Street for adults and children.

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