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Social Services

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Incoming Chestnut Health Systems CEO Dave Sharar said his organization faces new challenges.

Chestnut Health Systems

Chestnut Health Systems has chosen its new CEO.  

Current Chief Clinical Officer Dave Sharar will take over as CEO on Jan. 7 when Russ Hagen retires after several decades with the not-for-profit health agency.

Sharar also has a long tenure at Chestnut. A statement from board Chair Judy Smithson indicates Sharar's experience in many of the lines of business and that the leadership skills he has exhibited over 29 years are valued.

Children's Home + Aid

The state has restored funding for one of the programs Children's Home and Aid cut two years ago, the Butterfly Project.

United Way of McLean County / Facebook

The United Way of McLean County has a new strategic plan to address changing giving patterns in the U.S.

Google Maps

The future of the McLean County Nursing Home is in question.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

McLean County Board members had braced for a second long discussion over funding for a mental health coordinator and its duties, but the issue passed Tuesday without a whisper.

Kennedy Slams Rauner For Intentional Damage To State

Jun 20, 2017
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

One of the Democratic Candidates for Governor is accusing Republican Governor Bruce Rauner of purposefully wrecking Illinois.

Speaking recently in Normal, Chris Kennedy said Governor Rauner intentionally used the budget deadlock to target social services.

Ralph Weisheit

A Special Olympics Illinois athlete has died.

Special Olympics Illinois President and CEO Dave Breen said the athlete suffered a medical emergency during a Summer Games swimming competition.

McLean County Government

The Corporation for Supportive Housing is giving McLean County a $200,000 grant. The money will help analyze data from housing, homeless, healthcare and law enforcement agencies to help identify super-users of the system so they can be better treated and diverted from jail or prison.

CSH Program Manager John Fallon recently spoke with GLT about the importance of establishing supportive housing and delivering services in that space.

Facebook

Another in the rolling series of healthcare protests has happened in Bloomington.

Progressives held a "die-in" outside the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

Construction is finally underway for the highly anticipated McLean County Jail expansion. 

The McLean County Board held a groundbreaking ceremony for the $39 million project Monday morning. 

The three-story addition will have a first floor area for visitors and space on the second floor for inmates with mental health concerns.

Staff / WGLT

61 social service agencies suing the State of Illinois over the budget impasse got their day in court on Thursday.

An attorney for the agencies told Illinois Appellate Court judges the agencies are political hostages because of the budget impasse. Those groups are suing the state to get paid what they’re owed.

Justin Brocke / Flickr

Illinois legislators have voted against letting people with drug-related convictions receive welfare benefits.

Supporters said when drug offenders lose welfare benefits, it punishes their children, who did nothing wrong, but still rely on public assistance. Among those supporters was State Representative Carol Ammons of Urbana.

“This bill does change eligibility for those who come out of institutions with little to no resources or support,” said Ammons.
     
Despite the growing heroin epidemic in the state, members of both parties did not buy the argument.
     
Representative David Reis is a Republican from Willow Hill.

Mclean County Government

McLean County will break ground on its $40 million jail expansion May 5.

Inmate capacity will double to 400.

Staff / WGLT

The United Way of McLean County is dramatically reducing support for human service agencies.

Mid Central Community Action / Facebook

Mid Central Community Action is partnering with Commonwealth Edison for another year of low-income energy assistance for customers in Livingston County that meet income eligibility guidelines.

Matt Molinari / Flickr

Livingston County Prosecutors and law enforcement leaders want the state to boost early childhood block grant funding funding by $50 million. Sheriff Tony Childress said that will allow the state to capture more federal funds for preschool.

Childress was with the States's Attorney and another Sheriff reading books to three and four year olds at a Pontiac grade school.

Staff

Children's Home and Aid is asking Bloomington-Normal to "go blue" and show support as Child Abuse Awareness month begins. More than 1,600 children are reported as abused or neglected in McLean County and the agency offers preventative programs to help break the cycle.

Westminster Village

More senior citizens are ready to move into retirement communities than there is space for them to live in Bloomington-Normal.

That's according to Westminster Village CEO Barb Nathan, who said the driving force behind a $33 million expansion and renovation is the 300 people on their waiting list.

Sarah Grammer, left, and Cheryl Gaines
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. 

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