Legislators vote to restore $4.7M to shelters

Kudos! Your calls helped CCH convince legislators Tuesday to vote to restore $4.7 million in state funding for emergency shelters and transitional housing programs across Illinois.

Many homeless shelters for families and adults have been struggling to stay afloat since summer, when the General Assembly passed a FY2012 budget that cut 52% of shelter funding. In Chicago, almost $600,000 in cutbacks were passed along by the city to shelters, with half the cuts hitting three key providers.  

On Tuesday, Illinois House and Senate leaders restored shelter funding included in a $412.7 million supplemental human services appropriations bill. The bill restores cuts that would have closed seven state facilities, costing 2,000 jobs. It funds community mental health and substance abuse programs, indigent burials, and provides $140 million to help hospitals secure federal reimbursements.

Senate Bill 2412 passed the House 92-20, followed by a 50-5 Senate vote. The negotiated bill awaits Gov. Quinn’s signature.

CCH was back in Springfield Tuesday, bringing another 60 homeless parents, children and adults from Chicago and Aurora to talk to legislators. They were mobilized by community organizers Wayne Richard, Dollie Brewer and Jim Picchetti, in an advocacy effort spearheaded by Associate Policy Director Daria Mueller.

Ms. Mueller credits leadership shown by legislators who fought to restore human service funding, particularly State Sen. Heather Steans (Chicago) and State Sen. Dan Kotowski (Park Ridge). CCH also worked with Housing Action Illinois, the Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness, Heartland Alliance, and the Supportive Housing Providers Association.

– Anne Bowhay, Media

– Jaime Michelle Schmitz, Photo