For Amanda Broderick, who lives in AHRC’s Syosset group home, the weekends are what she looks forward to most. She stays with her sister, Karen, in Garden City, where she has her own room, movie nights with her nieces, and long family dinners.
Amanda’s weekend visits will be fewer, in the coming months. Since Thursday, October 1, the independence of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) have been further limited due to New York State budget cuts arising from COVID-19.
For 80-year-old mother, Harriet Traversa, this is equally devastating. “Imagine telling your son or family member they can’t come home. For my son, he’d wonder ‘What did I do? Why can’t I come home?'”
Adults with IDD who reside in group homes will have overnight visits away from their residences capped at 96 days – during which time disability agencies will receive half their funding rates from New York State. When a person spends more than 96 days away, the agency will not receive funding from the state when their bed is empty – regardless of whether it’s a hospital visit, family emergency, or life milestone.
“This is an institutional mindset, that effectively places a price tag on a person’s presence in their own home,” says Stanfort J. Perry, executive director of AHRC Nassau, the Nassau County Chapter of The Arc New York, an agency dedicated to supporting people with IDD. “A 20% funding cut from New York State to all non-Medicaid services are destabilizing for the people we support and for agencies like ours seeking to offer consistent staffing and service provision.”
AHRC Nassau is joining an advocacy campaign with other Arc New York chapters to demonstrate how a vulnerable population like people with IDD should not be included in such unilateral cuts.
Make a difference. Contact state lawmakers explaining your concerns for this approach in the short and long term here: https://p2a.co/babmxze