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Crisis for Non-Profit Disabilities Services in Illinois

  • Synopsis: Published: 2009-10-19 (Revised/Updated 2010-04-10) - Financial crisis affecting non-profit organizations that offer services to individuals with developmental disabilities. For further information pertaining to this article contact: Bethesda.

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The state of Illinois is currently experiencing a financial crisis that is greatly affecting non-profit organizations that offer services and supports to individuals with developmental disabilities, such as Bethesda Lutheran Homes and Services, Inc.

Currently, Illinois is three to six months behind in payments to agencies for services that have already been provided. The late payments amount to an estimated $2 billion owed to non-profits throughout the state.

Coupled with the late payments is the over $200 million in funding to non-profits such as Bethesda that was cut from this year's budget. Many agencies are now struggling to meet staff payrolls and have already nearly exhausted their available lines of credit.

If this crisis isn't addressed soon, many non-profits will be forced to shut down programs, lay off staff, turn away individuals who are currently receiving services and supports or cut back on the quality of services offered.

"The lack of government reimbursement puts non-profits such as Bethesda at a terrible disadvantage," says Kate Dunbar, Regional Director at Bethesda, "if this continues, Bethesda may not be able to continue to maintain the excellent quality of services and supports people have come to expect of us."

While Bethesda is currently financially strong and able to operate as normal without making any drastic decisions, the state's failure to make payments owed to Bethesda, which currently totals $2.2 million, has had a significant negative financial impact.

Bethesda, along with other Illinois non-profits, is strongly urging the Illinois government to become sensitive to this new crisis and to take the necessary steps to ensure that quality non-profits can continue to provide a high level of service to the people it supports.

Bethesda currently offers services and supports to 170 people in over 20 locations throughout Illinois.

Now in its second century of service, Bethesda Lutheran Homes and Services, Inc. provides services and supports to individuals with developmental disabilities throughout the country and around the world. Bethesda offers many different types of services for individuals and their families, including a variety of residential settings, supported-living programs and outreach services.

For more information on Bethesda's services and support programs, call the public relations office at 800.369.4636, ext. 3817, or e-mail: pr@mailblc.org





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