Last time we reported on the state of the budget, the big picture looked grim and a little muddled. Now, we’re seeing exactly where the money cut from human services (i.e., programs that offer support to drug addicts, homeless and mentally or psychologically impaired people) is going to hurt most. According to philly.com, that seemingly democratic “block grant,” the Human Services Development Fund, is really a sleight-of-hand trick that means a $33 million reduction in aid to the city’s Department of Behavioral Health.
‘The rationale is, it would give counties more flexibility on how they spend their money,’ according to [city Finance Director Rob Dubow]. ‘But at the same time funding was cut dramatically, by about 20 percent.’
Without the money, ‘the department anticipates an increase in homeless and criminal justice populations, especially those with addictions [and] an increase in people living on the streets,’ Dubow and his chief of staff, Anna Wallace Adams, told PICA [Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority].
This is what happens when the Governor takes that godforsaken Norquist pledge not to raise taxes at any cost to human health and sanity. The money’s still gotta come from somewhere. Why not AIDS victims?
The city Health Department faces an additional $7 million in state cuts. That would reduce the number of beds in the city nursing home and cost hospice beds for AIDS victims, officials said.
Aging White Man, take a stroll down North Broad after midnight and tell us if it was all worth it. A promise is, after all, a promise.