Budget Strains Homeless Services

Sep 14, 2015

  

A survey of homeless shelters shows 90 percent of them are denying services because they're getting no state funding during a political feud.  

Policy director for Housing Action Illinois Bob Palmer says most agencies are spending down reserves, borrowing money and using furloughs in hopes the gridlock will break soon; in other cases, such as a shelter in Olney, they've closed down completely.

“The budget fight is more than just a battle between Gov. Rauner and Speaker Madigan but there's actually people who are suffering, who are out on the streets, that can't get help because of this fight that's going on," he said.

Palmer says he's encouraging organizations to tell legislators and the governor's office to put aside their differences, and making passing a budget a priority. But Palmer says it shouldn't be just any budget. He says there's concern a budget deal that doesn't include new revenue would mean homeless services will be cut, as Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner proposed in his original spending proposal.