Thanks to a budget stalemate in the Illinois capitol, funding for state services have stopped until lawmakers can compromise.
That means some non-profit agencies in our area now have to take drastic measures, like stopping services, laying off employees.
For the Northwestern Illinois Center for Independent Living, or NICIL
, that means closing entirely.
"The section on the wall that says support, what support do I have in my life? And one of the writers, all anonymous, put on there 'without support I would not be able to live my life. I would have taken my life.' When I read that, I started crying, because that person was obviously here at NICIL. They chose to be here, they had the courage to put that on the wall, and now we can't serve them, because somebody else took our choice to serve them away. And that's just not right," said Michele Miller, Executive Director of the Northwestern Illinois Center for Independent Living.
When you hear about budget issues in Illinois, you know it's a problem.
But when you see the faces of the people in our community who are losing their jobs, the people who need help that they can no longer get...
"I was wondering what I was going to do... not knowing," said Mark Cripe, a disabled man who receives NICIL services and volunteers at the center.
You finally understand- until lawmakers can meet in the middle, this is truly a budget crisis.
"We want to do our jobs, but we have to wait for the elected officials to do theirs," said Miller at a news conference Thursday.
The NICIL provides assistance to people in our area with disabilities, helping them with almost anything they need to live their lives independently.
But because NICIL is contracted by the Illinois Department of Human Services, their only funding comes from the state.
So until a new budget can be passed, everything at NICIL will stop, leaving people without help and without jobs.
"No one would want this to happen to their family members, their neighbor, their father, their mother. It's not right. It's irresponsible," said Miller.
Illinois legislature is on break right now and will return back for session and continue working on a budget agreement on July 7th.
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