FY 2014 Budget Shortfall Requires ACTION!
Have you talked with your Lawmaker yet?
Supportive housing providers across Illinois are working to meet growing demand for services fueled by federal consent decrees, which require the availability of community-based settings for individuals with disabilities, as well as the closure of multiple state institutions. Even as we work to manage the influx of individuals with disabilities transitioning from state mental hospitals, state institutions, and nursing homes in the community, we are working to meet previously existing demand.
Supportive housing’s statewide budget request of $28.5 million in FY 2014 will provide support for 11,896 people. In FY 2013, providers accomplished 34 development projects with 824 more units to serve 1,361 individuals at a cost of $3 million. And in FY 2014, providers have the capacity to establish another 824 units to serve 429 people at a cost of $1.2 million. SHPA's budget request for FY 2014 is $28.5 million, including $4.5 million for projects begun in FY 2013 and planned for opening in FY 2014. See FY 2014 Budget Focus Points and Fact Sheet for Lawmakers, to help you in your discussion with Lawmakers about the FY 2014 budget.
Please, make connection with your Lawmakers during the Lawmakers' Spring Break" (3/23 - 4/7), while they are working from their District offices. Use the materials attached at the bottom of this page and let your lawmakers know that supportive housing funding is critically important for the people we serve and is key to the State’s success in re-balancing the service system away from institutional settings and toward permanent supportive housing.
The success of our advocacy depends upon relationships. Relationships that you and your organization have developed or will develop with your state representative and senator. There were more than 40 new legislators who took office on January 9, 2013. Many more new legislators were appointed over the past year and it is always good to reconnect and further educate incumbent legislators. SHPA is offering a Legislator Orientation Initiative. Please use the orientation materials at the links provided to you below and create a plan to connect with your legislator. Now is the time for positive action to establish or renew relationships with your Legislator.
TAKE A LOOK at the an excellent 10 page SHPA Stakeholder Orientation package that describes and outlines the value of supportive housing and includes powerful statements from Legislative Leaders, a Member of the Governor's Office Staff, Providers and Individuals living in Supportive Housing. See the Orientation materials at: Orientation
NEXT, review the information, Effective Lawmaker Engagement. This is presented to help SHPA members begin and continue a dialogue with new or continuing lawmakers about the importance of supportive housing. In the Webinar, Members are guided in effective lawmaker engagement through:
WATCH THE SUPPORTIVE HOUSING VIDEO! Included in the LawMaker and Stakeholder information is a 3 minute video that can serve as a brief but very powerful tool for your use as you interact with your Lawmaker and other Stakeholders. Click to watch this video, "Vote Yes for Supportive Housing".
Also available, below, are fact sheets about priority SHPA objectives for the Spring Legislative Session.
To Help You Get Started in Your Advocacy Activities, following are important timeframes for you during the Spring Session:
January 9 – March 22, 2013
The 98th General Assembly will convene on January 9th, with 40 new lawmakers and several lawmakers continuing service in re-defined districts. The General Assembly will meet several times per week until Easter break on March 22nd. This period of time presents excellent opportunities for an outreach visit to your lawmaker in their Springfield office, to introduce or re-introduce yourself and discuss your supportive housing needs in your home district. Refer to the Effective Lawmaker Engagement materials as outlined above, schedule a time with your Lawmaker and take a step forward to advocate for supportive housing. Ask them to watch the video "Vote Yes for Supportive Housing".
March 23 – April 7, 2013
The General Assembly will be on Easter Break. This is an excellent time to invite your Lawmaker to take a tour of your facility(ies), meet with staff and/or consumers (small group), view the excellent work you are doing and see for themselves, the need that exists for supportive housing and the tax savings that can be achieved through the use of supportive housing to defeat homelessness and support those with mental illness, rather than relying on hospital emergency rooms, nursing homes, jail or prison. Or, visit them at their District Office. Explain the FY 2014 budget shortfall for supportive housing, using FY 2014 Budget Focus Points and the Fact Sheet for Lawmakers
April 7 - May 31, 2013
The 98th General Assembly reconvenes after Easter and is anticipated to run full throttle until its planned adjournment on May 31st. This time period presents another excellent opportunity for you to meet in Springfield with your Lawmaker. Bring a small team(see the Effective Lawmaker Engagement materials) and revisit supportive housing priorities with your Lawmaker. SHPA will provide you with Fact Sheet and Advocacy information as the Legislative Session moves through the Spring. As always, e-mail Lore Baker at L.Baker@shpa-il.org or Mike Bach at M.Bach@shpa-il.org with questions or concerns or call the SHPA office in Springfield at 217-528-9814 or in Chicago at 312-202-0254
Please take advantage of these orientation materials and start today making contact with your lawmaker(s). Our strength lies on our collective ability to make our voices heard!
Fact Sheets and Information For Your Use:
WORKING TOGETHER, WE CAN ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING!
SUPPORTIVE HOUSING PROVIDERS ASSOCIATION