Governor Rauner and the state legislature continue to be at a stalemate and have not passed a State budget for the 2016 fiscal year which begins today.

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) has notified human services providers that the Department has set in motion a process for all FY 2015 funded organizations to begin the FY 2016 contracting process through the establishment of a Community Service Agreement (CSA).  Inspiration Corporation’s estimated annual contract amount for FY 2016 is $155,898, which is 49% of our current funding level.

While the news from IDHS is promising, the funding level is still not sufficient to support our current staffing level of the Housing Services team.  We were forced to move forward yesterday in implementing a reduction in force plan due to the uncertainty of a State budget and IDHS funding.  With much sadness, we must share that we laid off two staff persons on our Housing Services team.

When the State budget is passed and we know the final funding level of our IDHS grant, we will call back staff as determined by the award amount of our grant.

We do not plan to implement any additional reductions in force at this time.  As we move forward in the FY 2016 contracting process with IDHS, we will evaluate any new information and revised language regarding the current FY 2016 contract and determine any actions Inspiration Corporation must take in response.

Inspiration Corporation will continue to provide supportive services at both Inspiration Cafe and The Living Room Cafe.  However, we will have fewer Housing Services staff working with larger case loads and will not be able to provide the same level of contact participants were previously receiving.  Housing Services staff contacted participants earlier this month to let them know how services will be impacted if the State budget is not passed by June 30th, and held information and questions sessions for participants last week.

As discussed in previous posts, the State budget situation does not change a person’s housing subsidy.  S/he will continue to receive a housing subsidy, meaning s/he will not lose her or his housing.

We urge you to contact your elected representatives and ask them to pass a budget that protects supportive housing programs for homeless and low-income Chicagoans.  The stalemate in Springfield is already beginning to negatively affect the lives of our participants, and the ripple effects will only become worse with every day that goes by without a State budget.