Budget Cuts Force Homes to Close

DCF cut what it was paying providers, and despite assurances that no one would be forced to move, homes are closing.

In November, several hundred developmentally disabled marched on the Department Children and Families headquarters, begging not to be displaced from their group homes because of a cut in payments to those homes.

Secretary Jerry Regier made promises, flanked by 14,000 pages of public records that weren't provided until a lawsuit was filed. Providers say the promises have not been kept.

"Somewhere over a hundred people have closed or have lived in homes that closed,” says John Hall of the Association of Retired Citizens.

Beyond that other bad results one of which is that we are doubling up on homes."

The DCF secretary was grilled by a senate committee, but afterwards painted a rosy picture.

Committee chairman Evelyn Lynn came away with more questions than answers.

"All we know is now suddenly we have gone from a deficit to a surplus, and nothing is going to be done about giving money to providers that they much need because of the cuts," says Evelyn Lynn.

But while the legislature fumes the department has money it's not spending and advocates say the disabled will continue to be displaced. Secretary Regier has been called before legislative committees twice this week to talk about the budget cuts for developmental services and so far lawmakers say they're not satisfied with his explanations.