We are beginning to see the harmful results of the budget deadlock in Springfield. First, slashing daycare services; now, senior centers are beginning to close in Monroe and Randolph counties and also in East St. Louis. Meals on Wheels programs are halting food deliveries. Some seniors that received rides to medical appointments like dialysis are losing those rides.
We have strong communities in these areas and my hope is that the other social services agencies, churches, citizens and businesses will come together to try to fill this very important need. However, this will become more difficult the longer that the budget remains unsigned and more agencies, cities and businesses are negatively impacted.
The money that funds these programs comes from the federal government but, unfortunately, it is funneled through Illinois, so it is held up until a budget is signed. Many of these seniors paid taxes for years and did more than their fair share in supporting people in their communities while in the workforce. It is a travesty that when they need assistance it is no longer there.
There are other ways to solve this besides taking food out of the mouths of seniors, people with significant disabilities, children, or the poor. This is all about priorities. Bad things happen when good people do nothing. Now is the time to become involved: call your legislators and the governor, write letters to the newspapers, challenge your church to help meet the need.
LINC Inc. executive director, Swansea