I am writing you to get involved in a campaign to provide urgently needed funds for Day Service Programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout the Commonwealth. Vinfen is joining forces with The Arc of Massachusetts and other agencies to bring crucial awareness to #DontCutUsOut, a campaign to ensure critical funding continues.
Executive Director Leo Sarkissian of The Arc of Massachusetts shared:
It’s almost the end of June and we have no idea of the additional funding available for day and employment programs across the state. Agencies can ONLY be paid by the Commonwealth for services they deliver each day. However, re-opening after this COVID-19 pandemic requires partial attendance, more space between people, smaller groups in vehicles and in buildings, significant cleaning supplies, etc. And, partial attendance means group homes will continue to need staff during the day for which they do NOT receive funding. Our programs are primarily funded by the state. None of these costs have been allocated. Some agencies have begun laying off staff to afford the new costs. Without new funds, either people will lose services (including delays for those turning 22) or services will be significantly reduced.
Lack of funding will have a drastic impact on the long-term viability and availability of services throughout the Commonwealth. This will directly impact:
- 10,000 people with disabilities who receive day and employment services
- 9,000 people in congregate living
- 1,300 new students in transition from high school to adult life
- 11,000 people receiving MassHealth day habilitation
- Families and/or guardians of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
We need your assistance! Without this vital funding, programs face the possibility of closure, losing incredible staff, and not being able to provide essential services to the people they serve. Those impacted are our family members, friends, and loved ones; it is our social responsibility to advocate for and ensure that they are empowered, supported, and cared for.
Use the link below to contact Governor Baker, House Speaker DeLeo, and Senate President Spilka:
Thank you for being an advocate. We are proud to stand together with our broader community to fight for the people we serve.
Bruce L. Bird, Ph.D.