Illinois budget standoff forcing group that helps seniors to make cuts

Senior Services Plus has been forced to cut back as the Illinois budget standoff has dragged on. Credit: KMOV

For months, non-profits in Illinois have been forced to make cuts as the state continues to operate without a budget.

Many of the cuts have impacted some seniors living in the Alton community.Senior Services Plus provides a variety of different services, but they're mostly known for their meals on wheels programs. 77-year old Cora Huff says the delivery is the highlight of her week."It brings a smile to my face, there's my little buddy," said Huff, as she opened the door. She gets five meals delivered once a week.Huff said, "With them delivering it is so wonderful because my legs give out every once in awhile and all I have to do is get to the door and go to the refrigerator so it works out really well."Senior Services Plus serves the entire St. Louis region. Hundreds of people visit every day, whether it's for food, fitness, or some fun. Executive Director Jonathan Becker said, "What's important about what we do is we make sure they're not forgotten, that they have somewhere to go and someone that's there to help them."The non-profit relies on state funding and the lack of an Illinois budget is causing big problems. "We have had six to nine month periods of time when we're not being paid and we've had to take out loans like a lot of other agencies," said Becker.Senior Services Plus has already reduced services and staff. Meal on W]heels went from daily visits with fresh food, to weekly visits with frozen food."You wonder month to month not even, week to week, what else are they going to cut back? What else are they taking away from us? It makes you just wonder," said Huff.A spokesperson with Governor Bruce Rauner's office acknowledged the delays and said they are working to change the structure of payments. Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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