Developmentally disabled residents, caregivers and advocates have come together in the Have a Heart Coalition to stop harmful budget cuts that would eliminate critical services for people with disabilities.
In a Valentine’s Day action, coalition members spoke to lawmakers about how the budget debate will impact real people’s lives. Read the coverage in the Providence Journal.
Two Rhode Island state representatives also joined a meeting of over 50 members of SEIU Local 1199NE to hear directly from caregivers about how the cuts will affect the people they serve.
Amanda Hitchener, a direct care staff member asked the elected officials, “Do you remember the Ladd School? That was where the state basically kept developmentally disabled people locked away out of sight and didn’t invest in their care. With these budget cuts, we’re heading back to that model — and it’s wrong.”
Other workers spoke about the impact of the cuts on their wages which are already so low that it is difficult to make ends meet.