Illinois budget stalemate affecting organizations like AgeSmart - KMOV.com

Illinois budget stalemate affecting organizations like AgeSmart

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

By Brian Feldman, News 4 Reporter

Joy Paeth is the CEO of AgeSmart Community Resources.  It’s a non-profit organization that aims to keep older adults independent in their own homes as they age.  There’s just one little problem.  Actually it’s a big problem.

The state of Illinois owes the organization approximately one million dollars.  It’s all because of the budget stalemate taking place in Springfield and it’s affecting hospitals, physicians and health care organizations alike. 

AgeSmart, for instance, is being forced to operate with minimal funds.

“Say you owned a restaurant and every third person that came into the restaurant you had to feed them whatever they wanted but you weren’t going to get paid for it.  Well you wouldn’t do that,” Paeth said.

“The state of Illinois said ‘business as usual. We know you’re not getting our funds. Here’s what you would get if there was a budget but you keep providing services.’ So for a little while we did. Then when we realized this will go on for a long time we started to pull back.”

AgeSmart had to eliminate transportation services and now has a wait list for meals on wheels.  If it doesn’t get 575 thousand dollars by July 1 even more will have to be cut from their services to the elderly.

“We’re going to go into July with this promise of money but we don’t think we’re going to get any of the money that we didn’t get this year. People are telling us, once again, business as usual. You can’t run a business like that,” Paeth said.

Paeth also says the likelihood of individuals moving to nursing homes is getting greater and greater.  That is quite obviously the opposite of what AgeSmart aims to do.  They may have to sue the state of Illinois to get the funds they need.

If you would like to donate just go to www.agesmart.org.

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